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The other scare campaign: Negative gearing

Michael Pascoe comments in the Brisbane Times (20.7.16) on the supposed effectiveness of the ALP’s ‘Mediscare’ campaign during the federal election, but points out that the Coalition’s own scare campaign around Labor’s proposals to amend negative gearing rules didn’t cause a similar stir among voters.

‘The Liberal Party has been saying plenty about Labor’s “Mediscare” in the election postmortem – it’s Malcolm Turnbull’s preferred reason for losing a swag of seats – but there’s been precious little about the other scare campaign. Maybe that’s because it didn’t scare anyone.

‘Remember the big claim that Labor’s proposed negative gearing and capital gains tax changes would simultaneously crash house prices and send rents through the roof? The electorate didn’t bite. If there’s been an allegation that the negative gearing and CGT policy cost Labor the election, that would-be landlords in close seats decided any outcomes, I haven’t seen it.

‘Which is rather interesting. When a scare campaign fails to work, it says something about the maturity of the electorate on the issue and the credibility of the party running the scare. It means changes to negative gearing and/or CGT remain on our political table.’

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