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For most young families in Australia, the dream of purchasing and owning their own home is almost completely out of reach.

Working and middle-class families are increasingly being priced out of the housing market. Ownership rates for young people aged 25-34 have spiralled downwards in recent years from 60% to 48%. Young people are being forced to take on levels of debt unimaginable just a few decades ago.

With first home buyers making up just 1 out of 7 of all home purchases, we have to do better. It’s well and truly time someone did something about making housing more affordable in Australia. That’s why Labor has announced a policy that will help level the playing field for first home buyers competing with investors.

Labor will reform negative gearing and the capital tax discount effective from a yet-to-be-determined date after the next election, a policy which will help put the Australian dream of home ownership back within the reach of middle and working-class families.


Labor’s Proposal

Labor will reform negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount to ensure that our tax system is fair, sustainable and targets jobs and growth.

Negative gearing

Labor will limit negative gearing to new housing from a yet-to-be-determined date after the next election. All investments made before this date will not be affected by this change and will be fully grandfathered.

This will mean that taxpayers will continue to be able to deduct net rental losses against their wage income, providing the losses come from newly constructed housing.

From a yet-to-be-determined date after the next election losses from new investments in shares and existing properties can still be used to offset investment income tax liabilities. These losses can also continue to be carried forward to offset the final capital gain on the investment.

Capital gains tax

Labor will halve the capital gains discount for all assets purchased after a yet-to-be-determined date after the next election. This will reduce the capital gains tax discount for assets that are held longer than 12 months from the current 50 per cent to 25 per cent.

All investments made before this date will not be affected by this change and will be fully grandfathered.

This policy change will also not affect investments made by superannuation funds. The CGT discount will not change for small business assets. This will ensure that no small businesses are worse off under these changes.

Labor will consult with industry, relevant stakeholders and State governments on further design and implementation details ahead of the start date for both these proposals.


More information

Australian Labor website: LINK


The Conversation (21 January 2019)

“Labor’s change will “grandfather” existing assets, meaning they will continue to be taxed under the present, more generous, arrangement. This means Labor’s change won’t have much of an effect for years, making any simple guess of how much money it makes an overestimate.”

Source: The Conversation: LINK