It seems increasingly likely that the government will be making changes to capital gains tax as part of a housing affordability package to be announced in the budget in mid-May. Earlier this year Crikey filed a freedom of information request for modelling being done by Treasury on changes to capital gains tax since the July 2 election. In response last week, the department said it had 459 pages of final modelling being done on the proposed changes.

The FOI is still being processed, but alongside comments made by Treasurer Scott Morrison last month, the existence of those 459 pages indicates the government has changed its thinking on capital gains tax since the last election. Morrison doesn’t like playing rule-in-rule-out games before the budget, saying Australians would find out what was in the budget on the second Tuesday in May: “They are matters for the Commonwealth government, and the budget will be in May, and it will address our housing affordability package. We haven’t been engaging in any speculation on these issues. Others have in the public realm, which is fairly par for the course in Canberra at this time of the year, but the government will be outlining its measures in May.”

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Peter Fray

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