The Property Council has vowed to make stopping Labor’s negative gearing and capital gains tax (CGT) reforms its top priority for 2019:
Property Council group executive for policy Mike Zorbas said… “More than two million Australians own an investment property… Through this they play a vital role in supporting the private rental market as well as providing for their own financial well-being in retirement.”
“That includes 1.3 million people who use negative gearing – the vast majority of whom are middle income earners with a single investment property.
“These are everyday Australians who are saving for their future and meeting the housing needs of the one third of Australian households who rent”…
Zorbas… says the changes will hurt those ordinary Australians who use negative gearing along with those who occupy rental property.
He also says that making such changes at this time risks negatively impacting investor sentiment at a time when the housing market is rapidly cooling.
In a similar vein, the Property Investors Council of Australia (PICA) has demanded Labor “come clean” on plans for negative gearing:
PICA chairman Ben Kingsley… is calling on the party to come clean on when it intends to implement the policy, calling it “ridiculous” and “absurd”.
He said, “Restricting negative gearing to new property was always a ridiculous so-called ‘solution’ to Sydney’s strong price growth, which has now well and truly dissipated because it was merely a sign of the peak of a market cycle.
“If the policy was absurd back then, it’s even more so now, with the national economy flat-lining due to a number of poor indicators including significant property price falls in our two biggest cities”…
“The majority of every Australian’s wealth is in their property so having the threat of their home’s value falling even further is no doubt part of the reason why our economy is in the doldrums,” he said.
“It’s clear that people are fearful about these dangerous changes, both property owners and investors alike, so if Federal Labor is thinking about introducing these measures as early as July this year buyers need to have enough time to organise their finances and come to the market in the next few months to meet this deadline.
Labor took its negative gearing and CGT policy to the 2016 federal election. It is taking exactly the same policy to this election. This policy has been publicly aired and fiercely debated for nearly four years.
You’d be hard pressed to name another policy platform that has been in the public domain for so long. So for PICA to demand Labor “come clean” is utterly ridiculous and absurd.
Thankfully, Labor leader Bill Shorten continues to stand firm and refuses to back down:
The Labor leader… declared the opposition would persist with contentious reforms to negative gearing, capital gains tax concessions and to existing the system of cash rebates for franking credits despite signs of a voter backlash, and an intensifying scare campaign from the Coalition.
Shorten said voters were ready for a government prepared to take tough decisions. “We’re not for turning. To put it directly – do people want a government or do they want a piece of plasticine?”
“Do people want a government with tax principles and fairness at their core or do they just want a lump of political putty?”
Voters are well aware that a vote for Labor is a vote for its negative gearing and CGT reforms. So if Labor enjoys a stomping election victory, as looks likely, then the property lobby needs to accept the result and recognise that Labor has a strong mandate to implement its reforms.
Shorten Labor is also standing up to criminal banking, via SBS:
Labor is proposing to pay hefty amounts to public and private sector whistleblowers who dob in dodgy bosses.
The ALP would also strengthen protection for whistleblowers and set up an agency within the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman to aid them.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says it is incredibly difficult at the moment for people to blow the whistle on crime and misconduct, with many people facing reprisals and some even never able to work again.
“Are we a country that says we want people to sacrifice everything to expose illegality or corruption and then we punish them?” he told ABC’s Insiders.
“What our plan means for people who are doing the wrong thing is that just beware of the person next to you because they might want the reward and not put up with the corruption.
“We want to say to whistleblowers: we’ve got your back.”
The plan would see whistleblowers receive a proportion of any financial penalty imposed on the guilty party.
This level is yet to be set, but under the tax whistleblowing policy Labor announced in 2017 the party mooted payments of 1 per cent of the fine or $250,000, whichever was higher.
Similar schemes are in place in the US, Canada and Britain.
Mr Shorten said the generous US scheme had led to some big breakthroughs in financial scandals because it encouraged people involved to come forward.
The proposal has been announced ahead of the release of the final report of the Financial Services Royal Commission, which came out of revelations by Jeff Morris, who exposed corrupt practices at Commonwealth Bank.
“The banking royal commission has highlighted appalling and even criminal misconduct in the banking sector,” Mr Shorten said.
Such as that currently being displayed by Treasury, the RBA and the Government is trying to dodge RC findings. Shorten also today reaffirms that Labor will throw the book at the banks:
“They already sound like they’re backpedalling on making the banks accountable. Let’s see what the report says. The reality is this is a government that can always find an excuse not to do something to bring the banks in to heel,” he told the ABC’s Insiders program.
“I’m not going to let the government off the hook. They didn’t want this and now they are already trying to say ‘well maybe we need to have an unethical banking sector, we don’t want to go too hard against our friends in the banks’.
“I pushed for the banking royal commission against the government. They mocked me, they abused me but in the end we got our way. Now it sounds like the government is trying to say, ‘well, maybe we need to have a bad banking sector to keep a banking sector’.”
And Chris Bowen taps the MB spirit, via the AFR:
In a tactic similar to that used by Kevin Rudd against John Howard in the run-up to the 2007 election, Mr Bowen will point out that many are not experiencing the benefits of the recovery.
“The Australian economy isn’t growing as broadly, as strongly or anywhere near as fairly as is should,” he will say in the Chifley Oration, to be delivered in Melbourne.
Labor will release a booklet on Monday claiming “Scott Morrison and the Liberals tell Australians they have never been better off”.
Mr Bowen will point out that economic growth and wages growth are forecast to fall, consumption is weak and productivity growth is low.
Opposition and government are different and these positions will come under a lot of pressure when/if Labor wins but for now they deserve praise.