I’ve been interested in the contradictions thrown up by the focus on financial waste during the current election campaigns, whilst both major parties are happy to stay silent on one of the major inefficient policy areas in Australia: affordable housing. I speak, of course, of Capital Gains Tax concessions.
That was going to be my introduction, but Dammit! then I came across this March article by Tim Colebatch. Of course I had drafted up 900 words before I read, with tears welling, many of my points put more clearly and
succinctly than my own efforts. So I thought I would instead link to the article and add a couple of points.
1. Housing affordability is not just about owning a house, for many it is about renting and always will be.
2. To make sure that there is an adequate supply of low-rent housing, the Government should stop mucking around with subsidies to high income earners and directly invest in low rent housing stock. The savings from culling Capital Gains Tax exemptions and negative-gearing could fund this.
This could be either Government or not-for-profit managed, but should be kept separate from State Department of Housing agencies. These agencies should focus on complex needs households.
Of course my blog was full of wit and humour that Mr Colebatch could only dream of emulating, but you’ll have to take my word on that.