RUDD MUST CONSIDER TAX CHANGES TO TACKLE HOUSING AFFORDABILITY CRISIS

Queensland Democrat Senator Andrew Bartlett says the federal government’s actions so far to tackle housing affordability are welcome, but are just scratching the surface of a very deep problem.

"Every option must be considered, including modifying negative gearing and the existing capital gains tax discounts and exemptions," Senator Bartlett said.

"This problem will never be fully solved unless changes are made to the taxation measures which currently distort housing markets and unduly reward the better-off."

"At a time when the government is looking at cutting from public services to reduce inflation pressures, it is worth remembering that the cost of the various capital gains tax and negative gearing tax deductibility measures run into many billions of dollars."

"This is not a new crisis. It has been a major problem for more than half a decade and the Democrats have been proposing strong national action for all that time."

"The difference now is (a) the problem is even worse and (b) we at least have a federal government that is willing to take some responsibility, rather than just blame the states and tell lies about interest rates."

"However, whilst having a dedicated Housing Minster and a few initial measures is a start, this cannot be fixed without a comprehensive examination of all the contributing factors, combined with action to address those factors," Senator Bartlett concluded.

Senator Bartlett encouraged Australians with an interest in this issue to consider putting in a submission to the Senate Inquiry into housing affordability which has just been established.

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