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Property Council of Australia framing the debate on negative gearing

Nichole Gurran and Peter Phibbs write in The Conversation (17.6.16) about how the Property Council has lobbied the Federal Government over preserving negative gearing.

'The financial stakes are high when it comes to lobbying for regulatory settings which favour property development and investment.

'The Property Council’s healthy budget for advocacy and communication ($6.4 million and $1 million in 2015 alone) has generated a voluminous amount of reports, advertising campaigns and government submissions on taxation and planning reform. Another $7.2 million for “networking” ensures that this information is disseminated where it counts.

'These deep coffers have funded the Council’s high profile television campaign to preserve negative gearing and capital gains tax discounts in response to mooted changes early this year. Likening the housing market to a fragile house of cards on the brink of collapse, the ad (released on 22 February) carried a menacing warning, “don’t play with property.”

'The government has got the message. The Treasurer, Scott Morrison, who served as National Policy and Research Manager for the Council between 1989-1995 ruled out changes to negative gearing in the lead up to the 2016 Budget. Despite speaking out against negative gearing prior to becoming Prime Minister, Malcom Turnbull also changed his tune recently, rejecting  “reckless” changes to existing arrangements and suggesting that aspiring home buyers hit up their parents for help.'

 

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