More spin and confusion on negative gearing

In response to the Grattan Institute’s report on negative gearing, Treasurer Scott Morrison has said

“The sheer numbers are this: two thirds of those who actually use it, by the number of people who actually engage in negative gearing, are mum and dad investors. They’re nurses, they’re teachers, they’re police officers.”

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 Scott Morrison puzzles over some decimal fractions

Mr Morrison cited Australian Tax Office data showing there were 57,000 teachers who used negative gearing, 39,500 nurses and midwives and 17,500 electricians – in contrast to just 7500 finance managers.

Australian Taxation Office (ATO) data also shows that of the 12.78 million Australians who filed a tax return, 10 per cent (1.26 million) were negatively geared in terms of rental property, which meant they recorded net losses on rental properties.

OK, so let’s do the  maths. There are 113,500 in the group that Morrison cites out of a total of 1.26 million. That’s around .09%.

Even if we add in police officers we are not going to get much above 10% which is a long way from the two thirds that Morrison cites.

The worrying thing is that this man is the Treasurer and clearly has trouble with fractions.

To misquote Shane Warne, “Can’t bat, can’t bowl and can’t do sums.”

And it would appear that the Treasurer is not taking Age readers with him.

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