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Negative gearing, CGT discounts in Help To Buy firing line as Greens say system stacked against renters and first home buyers

The Greens will demand significant changes to Negative Gearing and the Capital Gains Tax Discount in negotiations on the government’s ‘Help to Buy’ bill currently before the Parliament, saying that Labor’s ‘housing lottery’ will only push up house prices, while failing to help 99.8% of eligible renters and first home buyers.

Labor’s Help to Buy scheme would only support a capped 0.2% of eligible home buyers each year. Economists say that similar schemes have inflated house prices, asking prices have risen 12% since Labor came to power in 2022 and 85% over the last decade according to SQM Research.

To stop pushing up house prices and make homes affordable for first home buyers the Greens say that Labor must limit Negative Gearing and Capital Gains Tax handouts and redirect the saved revenue to public housing to win the Greens’ support for the scheme.

The Greens will also continue to push for a rent freeze and a cap on rents in the negotiations.

With rents continuing to rise rapidly and rental inflation likely to hit another record this year, the Greens say 2024 will be the year of the renter and that handouts to property investors must be wound back.

Tax handouts for property investors, including negative gearing and CGT discounts will cost the Budget $39b in forgone revenue.

The Help to Buy Bill 2023 will be debated in the House this week, the Senate Economics Legislation Committee inquiry into the bill is due to report on April 16.

Comments attributable to Adam Bandt MP, Leader of the Australian Greens:

“The system is stacked against renters and first home buyers, and Labor’s answer is a housing lottery for a lucky few and higher rents and house prices for everyone else.

“In negotiations with the government over the Help To Buy legislation we’ll push Labor to end the tax handouts for big property investors, freeze rents and build public housing to help renters and first home buyers.”

Comments attributable to Max Chandler-Mather, Greens spokesperson for housing and homelessness:

“You shouldn’t have to win a lottery to have a secure home.

“The rental crisis is breaking people. This hard-to-get scheme will push house prices up for 99.8% of renters and first home buyers and make it even less affordable than it is now.

“The system is stacked against renters and first home buyers. Tax handouts for big property investors, like negative gearing, make it easier for a big property investor to buy their 7th property than for a first home buyer to buy their first home.

“Pressure works. Labor changed their position on Stage 3 tax cuts and now they need to change their position on negative gearing and capital gains tax.

“Property prices and rents are growing way faster than wages, putting home ownership even further out of reach for millions of people, and we can’t fix this until the government stops handing out billions of dollars in tax concessions to big property investors.

“We need to make house prices and rents cheaper, and we can do that by freezing rents, phasing out negative gearing and capital gains tax discounts and investing that money in public housing instead.

“The Greens will not stop fighting for renters and if Labor ignores us they will lose at the ballot box.”


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