With the 2016 election looming large, I have decided to pose questions for politicians in a series of blocks called “Hard questions, hard answers” (HQHA)
Given that politicians are not inclined to answer questions and when they do the answers are normally a combination of obfuscation, circumlocution and often just plain bullish, I have decided to provide the answers myself.
So, here is the first question. It’s is for Malcolm Turnbull.
HQ: Given your mantra of “jobs and growth”, could you please explain how retaining negative gearing is providing a stimulus for jobs and growth?
HA: Actually it doesn’t. It only provides a stimulus for people to speculate in rising property values. Unless people are investing in new homes, where there will be some stimulus to the economy.
HQ: You have said that it is designed to help average mums and dads “getting ahead”, yet the bulk of the deductions being made by the top 10% of income earners. Have you actually looked at the statistics?
HA: Yes I have. But I have decided to ignore the Australian Bureau of Statistics data. Sometimes you don’t need facts, you just need common sense.
HQ: Given that negative gearing costs $11 billion a year, wouldn’t it be worth introducing some restrictions to help reduce the budget deficit ?
HA: If you look at Scott Morrison’s budget, you will understand that we are not interested in reducing the deficit, we are interested in being re-elected. You have to understand the bulk of people who used negative gearing are in Liberal held seats. Changing negative gearing will risk those seats. So it is not politically smart for us to change negative gearing arrangements. It’s all right for the Labor Party because they won’t lose seats as result of the policy.
HQ. You recently suggested that wealthy parents should buy their children homes to help them into the expensive housing market, have you done that your children and grandchildren?
HA: Look I’m not going to discuss my personal finances or the arrangements I have through my family trusts. Suffice to say that I’m protecting the financial interests of my family.
Labor has attacked Malcolm Turnbull over the purchase of his daughter’s $2.7 million apartment, following comments from the prime minister suggesting that parents should be helping their children to buy a home.
Daisy Turnbull Brown is a history teachers in New South Wales, on about $65,000 a year. But she was able to buy a subpenthouse, in 2008 – she was then aged 23 – for the pricey sum of $2.7 million,” alleged Labor Senator Doug Cameron.
Malcolm Turnbull, his grandson Jack and daughter Daisy set out to find the house that Jack bought.