Yesterday the Prime Minister was asked for his advice to young prospective first-home buyers about how they could get into the market, let alone live the Australian dream of negative gearing multiple properties. His answer went on for a few minutes, and left us still none the wiser on how to buy a house:
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, just a negative gearing and housing affordability. Do you have a message to young people who don’t have parents who can act as a guarantor on a mortgage, who can’t afford a deposit of say, $100,000, and probably face the prospect of renting for the rest of their lives? And only ever seeing housing going up and up in the capital cities? Do you have a recommendation for what those young people can do?
PRIME MINISTER: Look, let me just say this to you. The Labor Party’s policy on negative gearing and capital gains tax are calculated to lower the value of Australians’ homes. They are proposing a massive shock to the market, pulling out 30 per cent of the buyers for established residential property. It is designed to lower the value of Australian homes. It would be a very significant negative shock to the market. And, you know, turning to…
JOURNALIST: But, young people can’t afford homes?
PRIME MINISTER: … Turning to capital gains tax, let’s just consider this, what is our central challenge? What is a central challenge to transition to a 21st-century economy? To assure young people the jobs of the future? To ensure that they will have jobs? How do we do that? We do that by promoting investment and innovation. That is why are innovation statement sets out real incentives for people to invest in the CEAs of the future. If there were some naval officers leaving a naval vessel, retiring from the Navy today to start up a competitor to CEA or an emulator of CEA. Under our plan they would have, there are real incentives under our innovation policy, there are real incentives for people to invest with them. What does Labour propose? Labour is proposing to increase capital gains tax by 50 per cent. So, what Labour are saying to investors is, if you invest in any project, any business, any asset, we will increase the tax on any gain you may realise by 50 per cent. They are setting out to reduce investment, to discourage investment. Now, we believe the future of our economy, the future of our security, the key objective of our economic growth has got to be around innovation, technology, opening up markets, investment and employment. That is what we mean by growth, we mean by growth, growing our opportunities. And, a key part of that is investment. So, we are in favour of investment, we are encouraging investment, labor is increasing the tax on investment by 50 per cent and that can do only one thing, result in less investment, less growth, fewer jobs.
That answer made us think fondly of Joe Hockey’s “get a good job that pays good money”, and was followed up by an accusation of waffling:
JOURNALIST: One of your colleagues has been quoted in the paper today saying that you are waffling too much in Parliament and you need to give a clear message on tax.
Malcolm? Waffle? Well, I never…