Capricornia's renters warned of higher rents under Labor
A NEW battlefront has opened up in Capricornia on the eve of a federal election campaign, focused around the hip pockets of property renters.
Seeking to increase affordability of properties to allow first home buyers to enter the property market and level the playing field against investors, Labor leader Bill Shorten will take a plan to reform negative gearing and the capital tax discount to the next election.
LNP strategists are planning to target young renters in Australia's marginal seats in a campaign against Labor's plans, arguing it would increase rents, cut supply, leading to a "rental famine".
LNP analysis found there was a higher proportion of young renters in Queensland, with hundreds of thousands residing in winnable seats, including 11,879 in Capricornia.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said cost of living was one of the top issues brought to her on a regular basis and Labor's plan to remove negative gearing would place further pressure on family budgets.
"Every Central Queenslander is doing what they can to work hard, pay the bills and provide either for their future or for their family's future, what they don't need is another tax grab from a future Labor Government," Ms Landry said.
"Negative gearing is made out to be this big baddy but it is really just a tax policy in line with the fundamentals of our broader tax system.
"To remove it would leave Aussie families open to paying more tax than they should have to and mean renters have to pay more to cover costs their landlord can no longer claim as a deduction."
Whether you owned your own home or rented, she said Labor's plan to roll-back negative gearing was bad news.
Ms Landry said property owners would see their assets worth less and renters would see the prices they pay increase.
"If people can't afford to live in a major city, perhaps they need to get out of the city and get out to work in a regional centre, like Rockhampton or Mackay," she said.
Labor's candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson hit back saying after five years of cuts, chaos and division, the only move the LNP had left was scare campaigns designed to protect their wealthy property investor mates who donate to LNP campaigns.
"This latest attack highlights just how little they care about real policy to help renters and first home buyers," Mr Robertson said.
"The LNP's only housing policy is to let wealthy investors continue to receive overly generous tax concessions at the expense of CQ families struggling to buy their first home."
Mr Robertson said Labor's tax reforms had been informed by advice from the Treasury, which the LNP continues to ignore.
"By reforming unfair negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions, Labor can partner with the community housing sector and institutional investors to build 250,000 new, affordable and environmentally sustainable dwellings over the next decade," he said.
"This will enable people on low and moderate incomes to escape rental stress and save to buy their own homes.
"Not only will this provide a massive increase to affordable housing, it will boost the CQ economy and create significant employment opportunities.
"This terrible Government has overseen an affordable housing crisis, stagnating wages, immoral banking practices and record homelessness, and Labor makes no apologies in addressing these issues."