Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has accused Labor of “lying” about inaccurate figures behind its negative gearing reforms, and warns there could be “a big black hole” in their election costings as a result.
The Conservative Party is not surprised at the news because Labor’s parlous record on economic management has been demonstrated time and time again by successive state and federal Labor governments.
The Australian reports, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has denied Labor claims it had produced data showing that only seven per cent of property investors bought new homes, despite opposition treasury spokesman Chris Bowen using those figures repeatedly to back his housing policy.
The Treasurer said Mr Bowen had been “caught out” over the ABS revelations and had to “come clean” about Labor’s sums in his budget reply speech later today.
“Bill Shorten and Chris Bowen have been tripping over their shoe laces and the election hasn’t even begun,” the Treasurer told Sydney’s 2GB radio this morning.
“The Labor Party in reality may see a big black hole in them because they have underestimated the number of negative gearers who use new homes.
“Clearly they are (lying) and clearly there is a black hole in their costings … they have overstated the amount of savings they will get from this policy, and this is a $35 billion slug on the taxpayer.
Mr Bowen’s use of ABS data has also been challenged by the Grattan Institute, a public policy think tank, which has argued that 14 per cent of investors buy new properties rather than existing ones – an estimate that is double what Labor has claimed.
Mr Bowen, Labor’s chief economic salesman, has repeatedly referred to ABS figures purportedly showing that negative gearing has failed to promote construction in new housing and create jobs.
“The most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that 93 per cent of new investment loans go to people purchasing existing housing stock,” he said as recently as January.
“This means that the vast bulk of investment does not increase supply or boost jobs.
“All it does is increase demand and the price of the existing homes, allowing investors to use tax subsidies to outbid owner-occupiers and first-home buyers.”