Stewart Homan`s defence of negative gearing tax concessions on investment housing (Letters, Canberra Times, 28 August) fails to acknowledge the unfair advantage these special concessions give to landlords, who take out high-ratio loans to purchase houses /apartments, knowing that the rental income plus maintenance costs will cause a loss, thus enabling them to claim a tax concession on income derived from other sources.
In 2011, 1.8 million landlords (1 in 7 taxpayers) claimed a loss of $ 7.8 billion – thus depriving the government of additional funds to add to the public housing stock, nationwide.
Furthermore, negative gearing has enabled such investors to out-bid first home and other buyers who are on limited incomes and derive no tax concessions. It is estimated that the surge of investors in the housing market has caused a rise of around $44,000 in such property values in recent years.
In 2006, when visiting Australia, the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, Milloon Kothari, said that Australia`s negative gearing policy was probably the most generous in the world and $21 billion of public money was forfeited each year because of negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions.
If we care for the homeless and support those seeking to achieve the Australian dream of owning one`s home, we should call on the government to cease this unfair and damaging tax concession .
– Keith McEwan, former real estate agent and CLA member, ACT