Joe Hockey has warned that the federal opposition could make damaging changes to negative gearing if it returns to power.
The treasurer said the Labor Party didn’t understand the consequences of changing negative gearing, after shadow treasurer Chris Bowen raised the idea of negative gearing reform.
“The thing about the Labor Party raising the issue of negative gearing is they haven’t properly thought it through,” Mr Hockey said.
“You can’t trust the Labor Party with taxation policy. We’ve seen that with the carbon tax, the mining tax. We’ve seen numerous policy failures in relation to taxation.
“If you change negative gearing, then there are significant flow-on consequences from people that rent homes, and that needs to be properly considered.”
Mr Hockey’s remarks came after Mr Bowen told ABC television that the federal opposition might take negative gearing changes to the next election.
Mr Bowen also said he doesn’t envisage either side of politics abolishing negative gearing in its entirety.
“But of course, when everything is being examined in a tough fiscal situation, any responsible opposition would be considering a range of measures,” he said.
“But we'll be upfront about anything we do before the next election.”
However, Mr Hockey said if the Labor Party has got a position on negative gearing, it should explain it now.
“Chris Bowen is trying to raise an issue that he doesn’t know how to bring it back down to earth,” he said.
[Related: Scrapping negative gearing not on the agenda]