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Neg gearing policy to put $1.8bn at risk, but Labor stands firm

By Tim Neary
14 May 2019 | 9 minute read
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More than $1.8 billion per year in repair and maintenance work on negatively geared homes will be under threat from Labor’s policy to impose restrictions on negative gearing, Master Builders Australia has claimed.

CEO Denita Wawn said the unintended consequences of Labor’s contentious negative gearing policy should be considered.

“Thousands of small mum and dad building businesses and tradies in every city, town and region around Australia would feel the impact of Labor’s policy progressively if it is rolled out,” she said.

“This work is the bread and butter of so many builders and tradies, and Labor’s policy will hurt the viability of their business and will put their livelihoods at risk.

“Repairs and maintenance and maintenance work is a lifeline for many home builders when times are tough as they have been in markets such as Perth and Adelaide for the past few years, and we can expect the same in Sydney and Melbourne as those markets continue to fall.”

Ms Wawn said the work is essential in nature, not optional.

“This work is not about renovations or capital improvements, it’s not about adding swimming pools or pergolas; this is the day-to-day running repairs that keep a home up to standard for residents and renters. 

“Labor’s promise to restrict negative gearing will make investing in these essential repairs significantly less attractive as it is implemented.”

She said the next federal government needs to back the thousands of small building businesses, not put them at risk. 

Labor has reaffirmed that its gearing policy reforms are targeting supporting young Australians wanting to participate in the great Aussie dream of home ownership. 

“We back genuine support for first home buyers,” Labor said in a statement released yesterday.

“That’s why we are also reforming negative gearing for future purchases, so young Australians don’t have to keep losing out to wealthy property speculators.”

In the statement, Labor also took a swipe at the Liberals for being out of touch on the matter. 
“After six years of failure, and six days before an election, the Liberals are desperately trying to tell young Australians they understand their struggles to buy their first home,” it said.
“First home buyers know the Liberals are out of touch and only for the top end of town. We can afford to deliver a fair go for all Australians and reverse the Liberals’ cuts, because we are closing down loopholes for the top end of town. Morrison will keep spending billions of dollars on loopholes for wealthy investors to buy their sixth or seventh house.”

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