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What is your party’s position on tax reform and incentives to make housing more affordable across the income spectrum, but especially for low to moderate income earners?

Housing is a human right, like health and education. The Greens will establish a Federal Housing Trust to fund the building of 500,000 rent-controlled affordable public and community homes, implement a national standard for renters’ rights and increase funding for tenancy advice services. We will fund crisis housing services with $500m in guaranteed funding for 10 years so no one has to be turned away when they seek help for housing. We will reform negative gearing and phase out the capital gains tax discount, and encourage States and Territories to replace stamp duty with land tax.

The Greens will get rid of tax breaks that have made our housing system unfair. We will wind back the CGT discount by 10% per year over five years, phase out negative gearing for investors with two or more investment properties over five years. Investors with a single property will be exempt. We will prohibit negative gearing on all future investment purchases. We will offer finance for states and territories to voluntarily transition from stamp duty to a broad-based land tax. The Greens would also stop self-managed superannuation funds from borrowing to buy property and, in doing so, benefiting from superannuation tax breaks.


 

Australia is in the midst of a housing affordability and homelessness crisis.

Rates of home ownership have plummeted to historic lows, record numbers of Australian families are experiencing rental and mortgage stress, and many of the most vulnerable in our communities are at-risk or experiencing homelessness.

Labor believes affordable and secure housing is essential to wellbeing, participation and inclusion and that all Australians have a right to safe, affordable and appropriate housing throughout their lives.

We are extremely concerned that many Australians, in particular young Australians, are being excluded from home ownership and this is having a profound impact on intergenerational inequality.

A Shorten Labor Government will ensure that the issue of affordable housing for all
Australians is front and centre of our national political agenda for the next decade and
beyond.

We have a comprehensive plan to tackle the housing affordability crisis, increase supply, combat growing intergenerational inequality, and improve financial stability.

A Shorten Labor Government will:

  • Reform negative gearing so that deductions can only be claimed on newly built homes,
    which will increase new housing supply and support jobs. Reform capital gains tax
    concession and allow existing investors maintain their current CGT and negative
    gearing entitlements. There will be no retrospective taxation or impost on existing
    investors.
  • Build 250,000 new affordable rental homes over the next decade in partnership with
    the community housing sector for Australians on low and moderate incomes.
  • Provide $88 million over two years for a new Safe Housing Fund to increase transitional
    housing options for women and children escaping domestic and family violence, young
    people exiting out-of-home care and older women on low incomes who are at risk of
    homelessness.
  • Develop and implement a national plan to reduce homelessness through the Council of
    Australian Governments (COAG).
  • Provide a timely boost to the housing market by encouraging institutional investors
    into the housing market. Labor will revamp the Build to Rent scheme – giving
    institutional investors better tax concessions, encouraging more construction and stimulating the housing market. We will cut the managed investment trust withholding rate in half on tax distributions attributable to investments in build-to-rent housing. The rate will be lowered from 30 per cent to 15 per cent – encouraging new housing supply.
  • Limit direct borrowing by self-managed superannuation funds. Limited recourse borrowing in SMSFs has exploded in recent years – from about $2.5 billion in 2012 to more than $42 billion today.
  • Facilitate COAG processes to introduce a uniform vacant property tax across all major cities.
  • Increase fees for overseas investors buying Australian real estate and increase penalties when they break the law.
  • Achieve better results from National Agreements, including better rights for renters, planning reform, inclusionary zoning, and accelerated land release.
  • Re-establish the National Housing Supply Council and appoint a dedicated Federal Housing and Homelessness Minister.
  • Establish a new and independent COAG Economic Reform Council that will be given the autonomy to examine, track and report to COAG on long-term reform priorities, including on housing affordability and supply.
  • Undertake a root and branch review into the adequacy of New Start and associated payments.

 

We support lower and simpler taxes. We do not accept that changes to taxation arrangements on housing – such as negative gearing – are genuinely about housing affordability. They are about raising revenue to grow the size, scope and reach of government.

 


 

The Morrison Government has announced a number of proposals to make housing more affordable for all Australians, including:

  • The establishment of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corp which has $2 b¡ll¡on to target affordable housing;
  • The new National Housing and Homelessness Agreement with the states and territories which provides more than $7 billion in housing and homelessness funding over 5 years;
  • The First Home Super Saver Scheme which allows first home buyers to build a deposit
    within their superannuation fund; and
  • Expanded tax incentives for investments in affordable housing.

The Morrison Government will continue to build on this comprehensive plan to support Australians getting the opportunity to purchase a house.

In contrast, Labor’s Housing Tax will make it harder for Australians to get into a first home.

Labor’s Housing Tax will put up rents which will make it harder for first home buyers to save for a deposit. Recent research by SQM found rents could rise as much as 22 per cent, equivalent to a $90 a week rent increase in Brisbane, $65 a week in Melbourne, $60 a week in Perth and Adelaide, or $50 a week in Sydney.

For young families who have just purchased a home, Labor’s Housing Tax might tip them into negative equity, punishing them and destroying their hard saved deposit.