Policies

Housing

Apr 12, 2016 UniPollWatch

Greens

POLICY SUMMARY

Affordable housing is a human right.
Access to secure, appropriate, affordable housing is a crucial determinant of health and well-being and is an important precondition for social participation and gaining access to other social services.
The housing needs of low income Australians should be met through the provision of a mix of affordable options, including community housing, community land trusts, public housing, shared equity with social housing providers and private rental housing.
Governments should provide sufficient public and community housing to meet current need and projected demand.
New urban developments should be environmentally sound, close to employment and public transport, and should facilitate community interaction.
Residents should have ready access to natural open spaces.
Public participation in the planning, assessment and development of public housing.
The housing needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be met as a matter of urgency.

Explanation

Through the parties current housing policies, the Greens commit to improving Australia’s housing affordability and availability crisis. The party believes that access to affordable housing is a human right, and is the only party that supports and is actively campaigning to remove current arrangements that drive housing prices up, such as negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount. If successful, the Greens will reinvest the revenue generated into the construction of quality affordable housing that provide security and the appropriate services in order to benefit the health and well-being of homeowners and renters.

Labor

Labor has promised to reform negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount to better provide a fairer tax system and promote job creation. These initiatives would also ensure young first-home buyers were more easily able to enter an increasingly investor-focused market.

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen has said “half of negative gearing benefits went to just the top 20 per cent of income earners.” on ABC’s Insiders program. The theme of Labor’s housing policy is to bridge the gap between would-be home buyers and investors who look to gain from hefty government subsidies through negative gearing.

Though such policy is also focused on the infrastructure of social services and job creation in the construction industry.

POLICY SUMMARY

Limit negative gearing to new housing from July 1, 2017. All investments made before this date will not be affected by this change and will be fully grandfathered.
Halve the capital gains discount for assets purchased after July 1, 2017. This will reduce the capital gains tax discount for assets that are held longer than 12 months from the current 50 per cent to 25 per cent
Build up to 50,000 designated social housing dwellings under the National Rental Affordability Scheme, which in turn will create 25,000 construction jobs
Protecting the community’s most vulnerable by tackling homelessness rather than cutting services

Explanation

Labor says its housing policy – reductions to both negative gearing and the capital gains cat discount – will balance our taxation system by cutting back on tax benefits to investors who negatively gear. By focusing investor activity on the new homes market, these changes are intended to open the affordable established homes market up to young first-home-buyers.

Its social housing building plans are response to an increasing lack of affordable housing in the market, particularly in the major centres due to increases in housing prices. Integral to a stable housing market is job creation enabling security of employment. Under Labor policy 25,000 construction jobs will be created by its efforts to deliver a constant stream of new homes to a growing demand in the market.

Liberal

The Coalition will not make any changes to the current structure of negative gearing and the capital gains tax (CGT).

It has promised it will not “remove or limit” the existing negative gearing scheme. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said, “removing negative gearing will reduce investor demand and result in lower residential property prices”.

He has also told voters there will be no change to the existing CGT discount, saying, “increasing capital gains tax is no part of our (the Coalition’s) thinking whatsoever.’’ The Liberals current CGT discount allows half of the profits from the sale of an investment property to go untaxed.

POLICY SUMMARY

Sustaining the current system of negative gearing
Ensuring the “mum and dad” investors can continue to invest in the housing market
“We will not remove or limit negative gearing- that would increase the tax burden on Australians who are just trying to invest and provide a future for their families.”
Maintaining a 50 per cent concession on the capital gains tax

Explanation

The Coalition’s policy on housing and negative gearing is a continuation of its policy from years before. It has said Labor’s intended overhaul of negative gearing could see a “reckless trifecta” of reduction in investor demand, lower residential property prices and higher rental rates. Its policy is focused on maintaining the current housing market and avoiding any drastic changes which they believe could deliver a “massive shock” to the market.

The Coalition’s policy on capital gains tax has not changed. It says a decrease on the 50 per cent concession rate to 25 per cent on capital gains proposed by Labor could severely impact the two thirds of Australian’s who profit from it, particularly those who are on a taxable annual income of less than $80,000.  

This policy is brought to you by Swinburne University

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