Shelter WA not sold on Treasurer’s stance on negative gearing

Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison. Photo: AAP
Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison. Photo: AAP

SHELTER WA has criticised Treasurer Scott Morrison, who said the government would not be changing its stance on negative gearing.

The issue was a key battleground in the 2016 Federal Election, with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten pledging to make big changes to the scheme – which offers a tax break on loss-making investment properties.

On Monday, Mr Morrison said that changes to negative gearing would come at a cost to people who rent, and would also have “wider economic impact”.

“This would not be good news for the 30 per cent of Australian households who rent,” he said.

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“You cannot make the reckless ‘trust us’ assumption, as the Labor Party have done, that making significant changes to negative gearing would not have a negative impact on rents and the availability of rental stock.”

But Shelter WA, an independent organisation promoting affordable housing, disagreed with the Treasurer’s stance.

“There is no evidence that curbing tax concessions would raise rents,” Shelter WA spokesman Mr Hall said.

“In reality there are many would-be owners living in rental accommodation who are putting upward pressure on rents.

“The Treasurer is right to focus on renters but wrong not to consider adjustments to tax concessions for investors.”