Now that the Prime Minister has defined budget repair as a “moral challenge”, he should explain the morality of allowing wealthiest Australians a tax deduction for negative gearing while budgeting to reduce benefits to the poorest Australians.
Negative gearing on property, essentially a speculative activity, should be limited to the corporate tax rate not the marginal tax rate of the investor. To allow people time to adjust, this change should be phased in over a period of time.
But now we find that our two most senior politicians actually think that changing the rules is a good idea. They just don’t have the political clout to do it.
Turnbull and Morrison: cloutless in cabinet
The Age reports that revelations in a new book The Turnbull Gamble by Peter van Onselen and Wayne Errington, that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison supported a crackdown on negative gearing but were rolled by cabinet.
This comes to the the heart of the real problem about Malcolm Turnbull. Turnbull was able to supplant Tony Abbott on the basis of opinion polls. Many Australian saw Turnbull as moderate liberal embracing a number of progressive causes: same-sex marriage, the Republic, action on climate change. Many progressive minded left- leaning voters demonstrated their support for him over a Labor Party that had been riven by internal dissension and instability.
Unfortunately, what we saw was not what we got. Whatever Turnbull’s personal political views may be, he still heads a party that is dominated by a conservative right wing to whom he seems to be politically beholden.
So here’s the prediction.
Malcolm Turnbull finally gets sick to death of being frustrated and bullied by the right wing of his party. He resigns as Prime Minister and as member for Wentworth. The Coalition loses the by-election, leaving the Coalition dependent on cross bench support. Chaos ensues with the likes of Bernardi and Christensen running riot. Abbott is returned as PM and leads the Coalition to a crushing defeat in the next federal election.
We wind up with Bill Shorten as Prime Minister.
Depressing isn’t it?