Money Gladys Berejiklian advised to push for negative gearing review but didn't

01:20  12 january  2018
01:20  12 january  2018 Source:   Sydney Morning Herald

Comment: Malcolm Turnbull's scare campaign that didn't scare anyone

  Comment: Malcolm Turnbull's scare campaign that didn't scare anyone The choice here is between the credibility of the Prime Minister and Treasurer or their competence in assessing economic policy. As Peter Martin has reported: “Labor's policy, or cut-down versions of it, has been supported by the Property Council, the Business Council, the head of the Abbott government's Commission of Audit, the head of its review of the financial system, the Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe, the Institute of Company Directors, and the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia.”I can’t see many raised hands.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian declined to challenge her federal coalition colleagues' support for negative gearing policy, just weeks after receiving advice from top Treasury officials that it was pushing up house prices, leaked documents reveal.

Chris Bowen denounces NSW premier after leaked Treasury documents reveal the then NSW treasurer was advised to push for a review but did not. Gladys Berejiklian was advised in 2016 that studies found negative gearing and capital gains tax breaks were causing ‘substantial distortions’ in the

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Labor pounces on Scott Morrison's negative gearing 'lie' after release of secret briefing documents

  Labor pounces on Scott Morrison's negative gearing 'lie' after release of secret briefing documents Federal Labor's negative gearing overhaul would likely have a "small" impact on home values, official documents reveal.The previously confidential advice to Treasurer Scott Morrison from his own department said the Opposition's plan might cause "some downward pressure" and could have "a relatively modest downward impact" on prices.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian reportedly ignored advice from her own officials to push for a review of negative gearing and capital gains tax discounts. Mr Hazzard argued negative gearing could be positive by pushing down rents.

Labor says if Premier Gladys Berejiklian is serious about tackling NSW's housing affordability crisis, she would reverse cuts made to the first home owner grant and push for limits on negative gearing . On day one of her premiership

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was advised by Treasury officials that negative gearing policies were pushing up house prices but declined to challenge her federal colleagues' support for it, leaked documents reveal.

A cabinet briefing reveals that top Treasury officials advised NSW to advocate a review of negative gearing tax concessions because they were pushing up house prices, but just weeks after that advice was given, the then new Premier declined to challenge the federal Coalition's support for the policy

Ms Berejiklian declared housing affordability her top priority upon becoming Premier last year and said she was "open minded" on the issue.

But she soon apparently shut down the possibility of picking a fight with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over negative gearing policy despite just weeks earlier being being briefed by treasury officials that NSW should advocate the multi-billion dollar investor tax breaks be reviewed to supplement the "modest gains" being achieved by state government housing affordability policy.

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NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian , who said housing affordability was her top priority when she took the top job, reportedly ignored advice to push for a review of negative gearing and capital gains tax breaks to reduce house prices.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian , who claimed "housing affordability" was her number one priority when she stepped into the top job, reportedly ignored advice for a negative gearing review that could have driven down house prices. The premier was advised by top Treasury officials to push for a

"I don't feel at this stage that is something I would necessarily touch," the Premier said last January. "If there is overwhelming advice one way or another ... [then] of course I'll raise that".

Earlier this week it was revealed that Malcolm Turnbull went to the 2016 election arguing that Labor's policy of ending future negative gearing tax breaks would "smash" home values only after the federal treasury department had told the federal Treasurer's office they would have only a modest impact on values.

Questioning the honesty of both governments' rhetoric on negative gearing: Labor treasury spokesman Ryan Park. © Peter Rae Questioning the honesty of both governments' rhetoric on negative gearing: Labor treasury spokesman Ryan Park. But a leaked cabinet-in-confidence then-Treasurer Berejiklian's department said studies showed that negative gearing and capital gains tax breaks, independently estimated to cost up to $12 billion a year, were causing "substantial distortions" in the property market and pushing up prices and should be reviewed.

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Gladys Berejiklian said housing affordability was one of her top three priorities, but has ruled out campaigning for negative gearing changes, one of the most effective options.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Guangdong Governor Ma Xingrui signed a Joint Statement at the JEM, setting a clear agenda for the NSW-Guangdong Sister State relationship into the future.

NSW Labor's shadow treasurer, Ryan Park, said the document proved both Liberal governments were hiding information from home buyers.

"[They] have been completely misleading the community," he said. "When it comes to addressing this crisis the NSW Government have simply done too little too late".

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she did not consider raising the tax issue a pressing matter. © Louise Kennerley NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she did not consider raising the tax issue a pressing matter. The bureaucrats generally supported the state government's overhaul of the planning act and the creation of a Greater Sydney Commissioner with power to override local councils but were skeptical about how much the state government could achieve without agitating for change at the federal level.

"These changes are incremental and would only have a modest impact on overall housing supply [and] affordability," the unsigned briefing said. "Broader supply and demand measures are required to address the root cause.

"Federal government policy levers could [contribute to improving] housing affordability."

Acting Treasurer Brad Hazzard pointed out it came before later reforms such as a housing affordability package that offered stamp duty concessions for owners of homes between $650,000 and $800,000.

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Gladys Berejiklian . Premier of NSW. MEDIA RELEASE. This is a national issue but the NSW Government is strongly committed to doing what it can to help,” Ms Berejiklian said.

New Premier Gladys Berejiklian is under fresh pressure on negative gearing in the wake of a global survey ranking Sydney second only to Hong Kong for unaffordable housing.

"The package is already delivering strong results with the number of first-home owner grants more than tripling," Mr Hazzard said. "As the Premier has made clear previously, if the government can do more to ease affordability, it will."

The briefing was prepared only weeks before Ms Berejiklian's ascension to the top job, following the resignation of her predecessor Mike Baird, and for a December meeting of Australian state and federal Treasurers and is classified as "sensitive".

Mr Baird had previously used his political capital to back policy reform proposals such as lifting the GST to 15 per cent.

The briefing shows Treasury agreed with the state government that increasing housing supply was among the best ways to make housing affordable but thought the government faced a "significant challenge" in making up for a forecast long-term shortfall of 100,000 homes despite recent record approvals.

Failure to tackle housing affordability risks leaving Sydney with "entrenched inequality" and a city unattractive to both students and professionals and with a population, particularly among older renters, increasingly dependent on welfare.

Former Planning Minister Rob Stokes – who was booted from the portfolio by Ms Berejiklian in her first cabinet reshuffle – sparked a row in his own party just weeks before the Premier's statement by criticising negative gearing as doing nothing to help supply.

He drew criticism from federal Liberal Ministers and praise from Labor's shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen.

Since taking office Ms Berejiklian's government has overhauled other aspects of the planning system, including stripping councils of planning powers for major developments.

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