Federal Labor appears to have won the backing of voters for its plan to limit negative gearing to newly-built properties.
But a Newspoll showing 47-31 per cent support for the policy hasn’t deterred the Turnbull government from its attack on the proposal.
At the same time, the Property Council has launched television, radio, newspaper and digital advertisements promoting the benefits of negative gearing to the Australian economy. Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer accused the opposition of having a “very clear” intent to undermine the wealth of everyday Australians by curbing the use of negative gearing.
“We are not going to be introducing tax policy that will have unintended consequences,” she told Sky News on Monday.
Among Coalition voters, 40 per cent endorsed the Labor plan with 46 per cent opposed.
It was more clear cut among Labor supporters with 60 per cent backing the change and only 20 per cent opposing it.
Shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh says there is strong support in the community for a policy which improved housing affordability.
He dismissed government claims the policy would cause house prices to drop, but avoided questions about whether Labor had done any specific modelling.
“We will continue to see house price growth, but you won’t see that gap between house price growth and wage growth,” Dr Leigh told Sky News. O
pposition Leader Bill Shorten said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had no modelling to back up his claim the policy would cause house prices to fall.
“Mr Turnbull thinks it’s for very wealthy investors to acquire taxpayer support to get their fifth, sixth and seventh houses,” he told reporters in Canberra.
The Property Council has also rejected reports the government may cap the amount negatively-geared investors can claim against their tax obligations.
“There is a risk with both options,” chief executive Ken Morrison told Sky News.
“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.” S
hadow treasurer Chris Bowen hit back at the Property Council, saying its campaign should be based on “facts”.
“It’s disappointing that the Property Council has nothing to say on housing affordability or first-home buyers or the efficiency of the current tax settings,” he said in a statement.
Labor also plans to reduce the capital gains tax discount from 50 per cent to 25 per cent.