Poll supports winding back tax breaks for investment properties

March 22, 2024 BY

Everybody's Home argues that investor tax breaks benefit those who already own property, and make it harder for those who do not. Photo: JAMES ROSS/AAP IMAGE

Everybody’s Home says a new poll suggests most Australians are open to winding back tax breaks for property investors, with less than a quarter supporting the status quo.

The national social and affordable housing advocates commissioned a RedBridge poll of more than 1,500 Australian voters, and announced the results on Monday this week.

The poll’s results included:

  • Three in five voters (58 percent) support limiting or abolishing negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount
  • Voters who do not own an investment property are more open to reform (62 percent), and
  • One in five voters are either unsure (20 percent) or do not want change (22 percent).
  • Nearly half of voters (47 percent) are in housing stress, defined as spending at least 30 percent of their income on housing. About a third (32 per cent) are spending 40 percent or more.
  • Younger voters (18-34) are hit the hardest, with half of the cohort spending 40 percent or more of their income on housing, compared with only 9 percent of those aged 65 and older.

Everybody’s Home spokesperson Maiy Azize said housing stress was rife.

“The appetite for change is here, and it’s happening in the absence of leadership from the major parties who are afraid to champion tax reform.

“It is political folklore and a tired trope that negative gearing cost Labor the 2019 election when there were a range of factors at play.

Five years on and a worsening housing crisis later, Australian voters want reform on unfair tax breaks for investors.

There is a huge opportunity for the politicians who are bold enough to take on this policy reform.

“Investor tax handouts benefit those who already own property, and make it harder for those who do not. Most voters don’t get these handouts but are poorer for it as billions of taxpayer dollars prop up investors every year. They are driving up housing costs and making wealth inequality worse.”

She said investor tax breaks had turned housing into an asset instead of a basic social need.

“Voters know it’s unfair that landlords get handouts when so many can’t afford a home.

“This housing crisis has been decades in the making as successive governments have chosen to featherbed private investors while walking away from building homes themselves – they have turned their backs not only on people on the lowest incomes but also on ordinary Australians who are struggling to afford a place to live.

“The federal government must abolish these unfair investor handouts and use the savings to build hundreds of thousands of social homes.

“It’s past time our national leaders prioritised housing for all over the profits of investors.”