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BFCSA: Do-Nothing PM Malcolm Turnbull under pressure over negative gearing flip-flop

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Do-Nothing Malcolm under pressure over negative gearing flip-flop

By Unconventional Economist in Australian Property

at 12:12 am on April 10, 2017 | 1 comment

By Leith van Onselen

 

https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2017/04/nothing-malcolm-pressure-negative-gearing-backdown/

 

Last week, the ABC released details of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, which revealed that the Turnbull Government performed a back-flip on reforms to negative gearing and the capital gains tax (CGT) discount in the lead-up to last year’s Federal Budget:

Federal Cabinet formally examined the impact of tax breaks on Australia’s booming housing market in early 2016 but decided not to act, an ABC investigation has revealed.

…instead of making changes last year, the Coalition embarked on a blistering campaign against Labor’s plans to curb property tax concessions.

That is despite the issue being considered at the highest levels of the Turnbull Government as early as February 2016.

This followed details from my cousin’s book, which revealed that Do-Nothing Malcolm and Scott Morrison were rolled in cabinet, with Peter Dutton, Josh Frydenberg and Christian Porter arguing against any changes to negative gearing and CGT so the Coalition could attack the Labor Party with “clean hands”.

 

Over the weekend, Labor’s Chris Bowen and The Greens’ Peter Whish-Wilson demanded the Coalition release the details of the reports uncovered under the FOI request, as well as demanded that Do-Nothing Malcolm explain why he mislead Parliament on the matter. From The ABC:

The Opposition said the Treasury Cabinet submissions proved Treasurer Scott Morrison wanted the Government to make changes but was overruled by colleagues.

The Prime Minister reportedly also favoured curbing property tax breaks before he and Mr Morrison were defeated in Cabinet.

But Mr Turnbull told Parliament last August: “The story recounted … has no basis in fact at all.”

“Indeed, it is a reminder of Mark Twain’s very wise words that ‘only fiction has to be credible’, and in this case it is not even credible.”

 

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen said Mr Turnbull “needs to explain” that statement.

“This [ABC News] FOI request is a major development,” Mr Bowen said.

“Now there are Cabinet documents, we are aware of Cabinet documents.

“The Prime Minister needs to give full account of his statement in Parliament on this matter”…

Greens treasury spokesman Peter Whish-Wilson said the Government needed to release the analysis.

“The Government has to justify to younger Australians why it rejected changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax at a Cabinet level in February 2016 given that median house prices in Sydney have risen by $110,000 since that time,” he said.

 

They need to make it public, this is a significant matter of public interest.

“In fact this is a crisis that we’re facing in this country for many first homeowners and of course the risk to the financial system.”

 

Senator Whish-Wilson said he would move a motion in the Upper House ordering the Government to table the documents.

Mr Morrison this week sought to play down Treasury’s submissions.

“As the Prime Minister has previously noted, Treasury regularly conducts analysis on many policy issues, which is their job,” he said.

A year on, Sydney and Melbourne housing is in the grip of an epic investor-fueled bubble, which Australia’s financial regulators are belatedly trying to contain:

 

 

 

Well done, messrs Turnbull and Morrison. Not only have you lied at every turn about Labor’s proposed negative gearing reforms, but you have derailed national interest policy and your own re-election prospects in the process.

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