Property Council launches epic NG scare campaign

By Leith van Onselen

The Property Council of Australia (PCA) has today launched a full-blown mining tax-styled scare campaign against Labor’s proposed changes to negative gearing and the CGT discount, involving a month long advertising blitz of TV, radio and digital platforms. Below is the full media release:

The Property Council today released TV, radio, newspaper and digital advertisements promoting the benefits of negative gearing to the Australian economy.

“Almost two million Australians own an investment property and almost 1.2 million negative gear”, said Ken Morrison, Chief Executive of the Property Council.

“This is an industry that is vital to our economy. 1.1 million Australians rely on property for their jobs and property generates one ninth of Australia’s GDP.

“Sudden lurches in policy are risky to an industry that is contributing so much to jobs and growth.

“Negative gearing is a vital part of the means by which Australians, from all walks of life, secure their financial future.

“Our message to both sides of politics is: don’t play with negative gearing.

Mr Morrison said the advertisements are focused on facts and not politics.

“Tax is always a legitimate area of debate and we are happy to put the case for our industry and the millions of Australians who rely on it.

“But this is not a campaign, nor is it a multi-million dollar blitz of the airwaves.

“Frankly, we intend to win this debate on the strength of our arguments, rather than through a large advertising spend.

“Some will want to equate what we are doing with the mining industry campaign – and they would be wrong.

“The tradies, bricklayers, plumbers, carpenters, landscapers, surveyors, real estate agents and investors who make up this industry can be found in every community throughout the country. That is who we will be talking to.

“Starting a conversation with the grassroots of our industry is the first step in communicating the importance of negative gearing to the community.

“Our ads are a reminder that Australians from all walks of life depend on the property industry – and seismic shifts in policy put this at risk.

Mr Morrison said that both sides of politics have put changes to negative gearing on the table.

“Playing with negative gearing is a risk to our industry and the economy. We would be negligent as the advocates of the industry not to say so.

Mr Morrison said the advertisements will run over a month.

We know that between 1989 and 1995, Treasurer Scott Morrison was the National Manager of Policy and Research at the PCA.

Will Scott Morrison have the cajones to shake free from his PCA roots and produce a meaningful reform package that benefits the broader public? Or will he once again cede to the property industry rent seekers?

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Unconventional Economist
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  1. “Almost two million Australians own an investment property and almost 1.2 million negative gear lose money on that investment, so we want other 10,000,000 taxpayers to foot the bill”
    That’s better!”

    • It’s not necessarily taxpayers (well income tax specially) who pay. One could argue it is the kids in underfunded public schools, or the sick and disabled who are inadequately cared for, or the unemployed who could otherwise be employed on meaningful infrastructure projects that are so needed.
      Perhaps those who are paying for the extremes of negative gearing are those who have no tax to pay anyway because they are too disadvantaged.

      • No argument from me on that score. Each $1 of tax revenue can be applied just once. What it’s used for is what Australia has to ask itself.

      • I proposed a business case with prototype to my former federal government employer to save the taxpayer $500,000 per annum in an ongoing capacity… still hasn’t been implemented


  2. I’ve heard a rumour that, since the collapse of iron ore, Twiggy and Gina have offered – for a reasonable fee – to stand on the back of a tradies 4×4 ute for the PCA with megaphones in hand

    • haha.. is this the legit PCA ad??

      Showing a “house of cards” while talking about negative gearing does not bode well with their “mission”!!

      • “Hilarious – that has to be parody with the whole house of cards thing…”

        Abbott’s former “Head of Communications” is now “Head of Media and Communications” at the PCA and apparently behind this whole campaign. It’s becoming more and more clear that the PCA is just a charity for Liberals.

      • Geeze, it’s worse than parody, its a very clever and subtle piss-take. Not only are they going to destroy the case for good policy they’re going to do it while mocking the morons that suck it up…

        Meh, have to admire that style.

    • Property Council has just admitted the whole property industry in Australia is one giant ponzi (Re House of Cards)
      What tools!
      You would have to think there is an insider for MB in the PCA.

    • “Where are the construction unions Bill?
      Why have we heard nothing from this key player?”

      Two words – Royal Commission.

      Can’t believe I made up a minimal word slogan – it’s infectious!

    • Oh man, the semiotics are astounding! Framing your argument that housing is a “house of cards” will do little to asuage the punters.

    • Ha ha ha! I know I’ve said this before, but surely this has to be the top. Using a house of cards as a metaphor for Australian property and advising not to touch it? You can’t make this shit up. It has become absolutely self-satirising.

      I know I’m down on Australians, but bloody hell, they must be able to see through this. If they can’t, they’re stupider than even I imagined.

  3. “Will Scott Morrison have the cajones to shake free from his PCA roots and produce a meaningful reform package that benefits the broader public?”

    We already know the answer to that – it’s a resounding NO

    • Scott Morrison more than likely instructed the Property Council of Australia on how to craft the advertisement. Im sure he helped to direct and write the script. What a sign of desperation. My worry is that average joe and jane will be frightened even if they dont own investment property ….

      • New entrants have nothing to fear. Numbnutz at the PCA sez prices will tumble like a house of cards. So why wouldn’t you wait for prices to tumble, then knock-down and rebuild a new multi-unit development and negatively gear the shit out of it?

        PCA logic sez don’t remove a market distortion because you’ll distort the market. Derp.

  4. “Will Scott Morrison have the cajones to shake free from his PCA roots”
    The answer is no. Insanity at its finest.

  5. Labor still supports negative gearing…just not for mums n dads.

    Until yesterday NG was embraced by both major parties. Both accepted that it was embedded in the economic framework, utilised by 1.25million voters, the majority single property mums n dads. In the rising property market of the last decade or two, it was seen as an avenue to build wealth.

    Labor are not abolishing negative gearing, rather preserving it for new builds only. Labor supports negative gearing. However this support appears limited to professional high end gearers. Gearers that pay close attention to demographic change, future zoning issues, population growth etc and would feel competent and confident to commit to new builds.

    Labor obviously intends to lock out mums n dads who buy a place not too far from home, or near granny’s, or in some low rent outer suburb – an investment, a foot on the property ladder – but not too big a one – just like the 90% established residential they currently invest in.

    Labor likes negative gearing, intending to continue to endorse the tax savings negative gearing delivers to a more select, astute body of investors. High end high rise and holiday homes.

    Negative gearing for the chattering class.

    • err.. Labor is supporting negative gearing for mums and dads who have already “infested”… yes, they are making sure the next wave of mums and dads dont fall into the trap.

    • Under Labor’s policy, whether you qualify to claim negative gearing on your future (not past) investments depends on whether you contribute to the supply of housing — not on who you are, or how much you earn, or how much you claim.

      • Indeed. Slimy bastard. Belongs on Turnbulls team. They promote and reward people who are slimy sell outs.

    • Well the ALP policy clearly favours the wealthy who will have other investment income which they can use to offset any losses from property investments, or who can afford to more modestly gear to a neutral or positively geared situation.

      It is the one property NGers who will be most affected by the changes.

    • Oh dear, you are so hopelessly confused you don’t even know where to begin, poor old thing. You sound like the three dogs eating their tails.

      NG is being retained for existing investors, so the Mums and Dads will be just fine. If they want to keep piling into new property, they can do it. They’ll just have to understand what they’re doing. Not an outrageous proposition.

      Equality of opportunity, outcomes may vary, and there are good reasons for that. Need I direct you to the thousands of posts where you have argued for that very proposition ?

    • “In the rising property market of the last decade or two, it was seen as an avenue to build wealth.”
      This is a misnomer. There is very little wealth creation out of this.

      Artifically inflating the price of land via favourable tax treatments and choking of supply is not wealth. No, this is clearly a case of redistribution and confiscation of wealth.

      The ABS data back it up. As an industry category, “Ownership of Dwellings” was worth 9.0% of current price GDP in 2014-15. This is up from 7.5% in 2004-05. This 1.5 percentage point increase is similar to the mining industry’s growing importance over the past decade. Huge movements.
      However, if you look at the same figures in chain volume terms, Ownership of Dwellings has *decreased* its share of GDP by 0.7 percentage points.

      This points to a mere redistribution of economic activity – capitalised through higher land prices.

      This shift has zero to do with individual effort, merit or wealth creation. It has everything to do with confiscating the reward for effort from those who have joined the property ladder after you.

    • Piss weakest example of obfuscation I’ve seen from you so far 3D. You’re losing it. Actually, no, you’ve lost it. You’re a running joke. Your post was a sign of utter desperation. Ha ha ha!

    • There’s just no basis for your comment. Why you engage in such tendentious speculation without foundation I can’t imagine. Under the ALP’s policy, ‘ordinary’ investors will still be able negatively gear new properties, like one of the tens of thousands of apartments built in this country every year. ‘Ordinary’ investors will still be able to invest in positively-geared property (ie, the investment doesn’t make a loss. Crazy!) just like investors do in every other country around the world that doesn’t have negative gearing…. Why you consider this to be remarkable I can’t imagine.

    • Sickening 3d, just sickening. I see you’ve diversified into spruiking for the Property Council now, seeing as the Minerals Council can no longer afford your services.

    • You lot are missing the point.

      All kinds of statistical contortions have been put forward as an argument against negative gearing, primarily the top 20% benefit.

      Labor’s new policy will not prevent this. It is likely to exacerbate it. And should the New Build Nirvana take hold, we’re back to where we are today – the top 20% will still be reaping the rewards. Not that that is a bad thing, Labor obviously doesn’t think it is…

      • And since when has that ever bothered you? Aren’t you the one telling us that it’s fine for the rich to get more of a benefit, seeing as they pay most of the tax anyway?

        To be clear, I don’t agree with you that this will happen – I’m just pointing it out, as I think it shows how desperate you’re getting.

      • It doesn’t bother me per se, there probably should be some restrictions on number of properties owned or maximum losses claimed. However, that is not what Labor is proposing. Labor is proposing a system that will continue to support the top 20%.

        Labor has ignored the advice of all the thinktanks energetically devising the them and us argument. Ironic.

      • Will the magnitude of rewards be larger or smaller under Labor’s proposal? Will the housing supply grow faster or slower under Labor’s proposal?

        You are so correct. I am totally missing the point. We should do nothing. It is the superior solution. In every way. It has delivered us a diverse and robust economy.

  6. There’s only one hope for Australia, and I can’t believe I’m suggesting this, but ….it’s Bill Shorten. Not because he might get elected – he won’t – but because he’s the only shot at getting an alternative message out.
    Australia above pretty much every other nation on the planet can survive what’s coming. It’s up to Bill Shorten to get the conversation going that will make sure of that. He then might stand a chance, next time.

      • Bowen has been on fire recently. Seems to be playing soccer with Morrison’s thick head.

        Leigh has always impressed me. Like Keating without the spiky personality.

    • I usually agree with everything you say except Australia somehow being in a better position to survive what is coming. After the dust settles, the nations that are highly cohesive, with an educated workforce, capable of working hard, producing things and willing to sacrifice personally for the greater good will lead the recovery. The very antithesis of Australia. In 2039 Australians will still be holding out for that mining boom so they can rebuild the housing bubble…..that will never come.

    • Australia above pretty much every other nation on the planet can survive what’s coming.

      I’m genuinely curious what makes you say this. I mean, we’ve spent the last 20-30 years on an epic anti-intellectualism crusade, abusing and humiliating the weak, disassembling our manufacturing capability, undermining the public service, selling off public assets and entrenching rent-seekers.

    • Above every nation? You are kidding right? The nations that survive the next shock will be ones that have capability to actually produce something the world needs.

  7. Terrible ad full of lies. However, the house of cards imagery may backfire as it makes Australia seen weak.

    I really hope that the rating agencies chime in soon and threaten us with a downgrade if we don’t get our shit together.

  8. The developments of the last few days regarding NG, Pop Ponzi etc has made me just want a massive all destructive crash come down upon the heads, yes it will take good people down but it seems that is the price MT and the LNP will demand. So bring it on and see how it pans out !

  9. The bottom line is that property IS central to Australia’s economy, and changes to negative gearing WILL cause major upheaval. For too long, both sides of politics played the blow the bubble bigger game. It was never going to be easy to undo once we went so far down that path.

    • Did you see the House of Card falling down ad by the Property Council? I have to check WHOIS to make sure it’s not a parody site run by someone else. You don’t need any counter message right now as the PCA is shooting themselves in the foot.

      • Today's Empire Tomorrow's Ashes

        Apparently not.

        Domain Name
        Last Modified 16-Feb-2016 22:27:32 UTC
        Status ok
        Registrar Name NetRegistry
        Registrant ID ABN 13008474422
        Eligibility Type Non-profit Organisation
        Registrant Contact ID LEPE1256
        Registrant Contact Name Peter Lewis
        Registrant Contact Email [email protected]
        Tech Contact ID C0573762-AR
        Tech Contact Name Dominic Main
        Tech Contact Email [email protected]
        Name Server
        Name Server
        Name Server
        DNSSEC unsigned

      • Locus of ControlMEMBER

        Tech Contact Name Dominic Main

        So, let’s get this straight – the techie who helps register your domain name is (let’s use the diminutive form of his name – Do, short for Domenic) Do’ Main? For real?

        Between that and the house of cards imagery this has to be a spoof website.

  10. Just watching Parliament live and PMT has just confirmed that rising house prices are the centre piece of our “transitioning economy”. God help us all.

    • Don’t scare the horses. I’m amazed the Labor party have gone down this path, the advertising from the PCA will be awesome and they may end up looking very bad (within the scope of the lies).

      Will this be mining tax V2. Will the voters get it this time or will they be conned again? (don’t answer that)

      • They are doing it from the safety of opposition this time.
        All they need to do is to just keep fronting up and quoting Leith, Saul, Soos and whoever else it is they are getting their data from.
        The more they put the facts forward the more the Libs and Nats will be questioned upon it.
        The more questions that Turnbull and Morrison are forced to answer the more knots that they will tie themselves up in.
        The clear path forward for the Libs is to only allow interviews with News Ltd as not even the ABC can suppress this.

      • Hopefully the ALP make this THE DEBATE of our economy.

        Hopefully it will see them lose the next election by a small margin, but an election that completely polarises the country. Shorten will be the casualty, but that’s no real loss. One more term in opposition can be like the ALP from 1980-83.

        3 more years and the Libs will be tainted with this, Howard’s legacy to their ‘economy management’.

        Once the dust has settled and a disgruntled electorate sees the mess, pernicious fiscal treatment of the boomers post 2019 will be a bonus.

    • “transitioning economy”, is that lawyer or politician speak for we’re ‘fire trucked’ and we honestly don’t know what we are doing and answering only to our over lords, the rent seekers?

    • Housing construction is key to our “transitioning economy”
      Malcolm, there are 250,000 Australians employed in the housing construction industry
      HIA predict housing construction to fall by at least 20% if you do nothing.
      Labor has a plan to save those jobs
      What is your plan Malcolm?

  11. Did anyone hear Alan Jones this morning go on about negative gearing, wow, almost thought he was reading off a sheet provided by the Property Council. End of the world stuff

  12. I’m really hoping Getup spoof the property council ads with “Child sponsorship” style ads………….
    Support a negative gearer with 4 properties for only $15,000 a year tax refunds……call us now to change the life of a cashed up boomer…………..and seal your childrens fate of never ever ever owning their own home……..

    • Where is GetUp on “NG for new builds only”?
      They have been as quiet as the construction unions

      • Actually, they partially funded the Australian Institute report.
        Check out their FB page.
        I nearly fell of my seat seeing how many Getup supporters are upset over negative gearing……….
        Wow – have we made a nation of crack addicts of the passive investment world………… I’m blown away..

      • Can you link to any public statement in support made by GetUp since Labor announced its “NG for new builds only” policy?

      • FB comments made by them backing AI report……… they are impartial on political siding?? What are you getting at??

      • Hey Kurt, the comments on GetUp’s FB post about negative gearing are eye-opening. What a bunch of pathetic whingers.

  13. They had comments and ratings enabled on their Youtube clip with all “thumbs downs” and all comments were against their agenda. How do you fix that? Disable comments and remove ratings! Fixed!

    • actually we could just hashtag PCA’s own posts: #houseofcards, #propertybubble, #dontbuynow.
      Just negatively reinforce and cross-pollinate to better sources of truth.
      Show those 13 “likers” we mean business.

    • What is there to say? I noticed that he has a career as a policy boffin, whereas Kathy McDermott has worked her way up to BOD level from a comms degree. They’re probably more focused on lobbying as opposed to public communications, which is why this campaign is so tacky.

  14. PlanetraderMEMBER

    Just got a spam email from Acquired Properties – amongst the chance to win prizes, get property hotspot lists etc, this was their spiel:

    The cash rate has been at 2.0% for ten months now! This represents the best time to buy in Australian history!

    Adelaide has some of the most affordable real estate in Australia currently. When we combine these affordable prices with our incredible cash rate, there really has been no better time to buy!

    If you’ve been thinking of taking the plunge and becoming a property investor, then 2016 is the ideal time to enter the market!

    The combination of low interest rates with the long-term potential for strong yields and capital gains presents the ideal conditions for property buyers looking to get into the market.

    As long as you are working, very few people are in a situation where they cannot get a loan. There are so many options to improve borrowing capacity and the creative team at Acquired have the experience to get the job done!

  15. This is going on LInkedin on “how not to frame a campaign.” Whoever’s behind this is unlikely to ever get a client from the private sector (well, a client that relies on a competent media strategy).

    • And the Oscar goes to…..
      Essential Media!
      Quote from their homepage: “Our award-winning creative solutions get results and cut through the crowded media environment.”

  16. Its time like this you need Paul Keating to do a bit of straight talking to the rent seeking thugs.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      Did you know that Curly of Three Stooges fame walked like he did because he accidentally shot himself in the foot?

      Essential Media could learn something from that little fact…

  17. Listening to abc now & they’re running the ‘everyone loves density living’ line – such bullshit. One of them loves their little terrace & density is awesome. I’m ok so everyone else should. They do a five min chat – slap each other on the back – throw around a few cliches & job done – everyone loves density – especially the renters paying $180 – $250 per week to share a ROOM in a flat with 4 other people – fantastic!

  18. NG reform and the repayment of false NG claims and undeclared rent income should be retrospective for all Chinese.

    The Chinese rorting of these schemes goes back a decade or more.
    Why should they be grandfathered or protected ?

    What they have been doing was blatantly certain criminal & illegal.

    The Chinese have stolen or extracted from Australians tens of billions in their scams in the whole temp Visa rackets.
    They are also by far the majority of the owners of the slum housing for these guestworkers.
    The Chinese buy predominantly established Aussie housing & have aggressively converted it into temp visa guestworker slum housing.

    The Chinese owner then declare a minimal fake rent income from a proxy tenant and then claim the NG.
    They then get get a lead tenant or the proxy to sublet the 2 bed unit out to 8, 10, 12 or more ‘temp resident guestworkers’ posing as students or working holiday at $200 each for a filthy bunk or mattress share.

    The owner then does not declare this $1,500 or more cash. That goes back to China or funds the next purchase of Aussie housing by the syndicate.

    There is $20 billion of rent being paid by these 2.2 million temporary guestworkers to over 225,000 Chinese owner dwellings running these sardine bunk and mattress share housing rackets.

    Temp guestworkers (98% of the 2.2 million rent in private accomodation’ are nearly half the renters (4.8 million ABS) in Australia.

    This is why a 2 bed unit is worth $800k in sydney – coz a Chinese can scam $100,000 cash no tax out of it in subletting & crowding And frauding the use of the dwelling & income.

    There’s so much of evidence of Chinese owned Aussie housing converted into dormitory hovels with their third world tenants now spreading 40 Sq km across sydney now.

    It is long overdue for the immigration dept and the ATO to launch a full investigation of the whole ‘student & working holiday’ guestworker housing rackets and scams and investigate just what these people are doing here & their breach of their visa conditions.

    And part of that is where do they all live and who exactly do they pay rent to…

    It will invariably be to a Chinese ‘manager’ or lead tenant in some squalid 10 bunk of mattress share 2 bed unit in the CBD or inner urban.

    That will open up a lot of peoples eyes to just how vast a racket is going on.

    The ATO needs to backdate and enforce owner taxation of all the undeclared rent, and recovery their false NG claims.
    And start fining & shutting down the illegal use of dwellings.

    If the Chinese can’t pay up – then their properties should be seized, disinfected and returned back to be used by Australian citizens only.