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IT’S TIME TO GET FAIR DINKUM ABOUT HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

By Op Ed By Matt Thislethwaite – Member for Kingsford Smith on June 29, 2017 in News

Picture: Jerome Loan

Malcolm Turnbull is not fair dinkum about housing affordability because he won’t touch negative gearing and capital gains tax discounts.

Housing affordability in our community has become more topical than the weather, the surf, and coffee – combined.

Many young people fear they will never be able to afford to buy a home in the Eastern Suburbs. That is a great shame.

In Kingsford Smith people are literally waking up day-in, day-out to rising house prices.
In the three years from 2014 to 2017 the price of homes in the suburb of Malabar grew a whopping 46.37% to $2,004,000, adding $635,000 to their value. That equates to an increase of $580 every single day.

Up the road in Coogee average prices grew $592 every day to $2,382,000.

Unfortunately, on housing affordability Malcolm Turnbull has failed to implement any policies that will make a real difference to the lives of people in his electorate.

Talking about increasing supply and allowing young people to pump an additional $30k into their super won’t make a difference to house prices in our community.

We have to reform the most generous property investor tax concessions in the world. We have to level the playing field for first home buyers by restricting negative gearing to new housing stock only and reducing the capital gains tax discount.

Federal Labor has announced a range of measures to tackle housing affordability. I am proud of these measures because I feel, combined, they are our best chance of providing some hope to young people hoping to own a home in the future.

Labor’s housing affordability plan includes:
1. Restrict negative gearing to new housing stock.
2. Reduce the capital gains tax discount on the sale of investment properties by half.
3. Support a uniform vacant property tax across all major cities.
4. Limit direct borrowing by self-managed superannuation funds that invest in property.
5. Increase foreign investor fees and penalties.
6. Establish a bond aggregator to increase investment in affordable housing.
7. Boost homelessness support for vulnerable Australians.
8. Get better results from the National Affordable Housing Agreement.
9. Re-establish the National Housing Support Council and the Minister for Housing.

Today an investor looking to purchase their sixth or seventh property receives more support from the government than a young couple looking to buy their first home. That’s just not on.

Of the combined benefits of CGT and negative gearing, half goes to the top tenth of the population. In the case of negative gearing, the typical teacher or nurse gets less than $300 a year, while the typical surgeon or anaesthetist gets over $3000 a year.

For many people of all ages, home ownership in our area has transformed from a dream to a nightmare. It’s time for that to change.

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