Greens to force negative gearing debate

A political fight over negative gearing is looming after the Greens threatened to delay the passage of a government housing bill to force a debate on that and capital gains tax.

What we know:

  • The Greens have threatened to block the passage of Labor’s “help-to-buy” housing legislation to push for changes to tax breaks on investment properties (The Guardian).
  • The bill would launch a scheme to assist 10,000 prospective buyers a year by allowing the government to take 30% equity for an existing build and 40% for a new build in their homes, making the deposit and loan smaller.
  • The Coalition has said it will oppose the bill, leading the government to need the support of the Greens and some of the cross bench.
  • Greens housing spokesperson Max Chandler-Mather said the system is “stacked against renters and first-home buyers” and that “pressure works”.
  • It’s understood the Greens want to limit negative gearing to a single investment property and to replace the capital gains tax discount with a more modest concession linked to the consumer price index.
  • The 1.1m people who negatively geared properties in 2020-21 received a tax benefit of $2.7bn, with 80% of these people earning above the median income and 37% being in the top income bracket.
  • Independent senator David Pocock has flagged support for negative gearing changes, but Treasurer Jim Chalmers said it is “not something that we’re considering” (AAP).
  • Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has promised to repeal the right to disconnect rules and other elements of Labor’s recently passed industrial relations reforms if the Coalition wins back government (SBS).
  • The right to disconnect was included in the IR reforms after negotiations with the Greens, leading Dutton to say the government had “outsourced” its policy to the party.
  • Shadow treasurer Angus Taylor said the Coalition would bring a “targeted package of repeals” to the IR laws if it wins government (ABC).