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Mythical beasts and public policy

TJ Ryan Foundation research associate, Peter Bridgman, comments (9.3.16) in a post to his personal website about the debate over Labor’s proposed changes to negative gearing regulations. He argues that, despite the proposal drawing criticism from the federal Treasurer among others, the ALP’s policy venture may have done the Coalition government a favour.

‘Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison recently derided the ALP’s Positive Plan to Help Housing Affordability as “selling a unicorn”. Colourful language, but what is happening in policy terms?

‘Even though unicorns do not exist, tax and housing policies do. And it is legitimate for any political party to propose changes to policy. Indeed, negative gearing has been considered politically untouchable ever since 1987 and the ALP may have done the Government a huge favour by putting this risky proposition into play.’

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