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Thursday, 20 August 2009
Page: 8545


Mr HOCKEY (2:32 PM) —My question is to the Treasurer, and I refer to his earlier request to have a mature debate where he does not give an opinion. Given that the government was able to rule out an increase in the GST but all week has declined to rule out the introduction of a capital gains tax on the family home, will the Treasurer today rule out the introduction of a capital gains tax on the family home?


Mr SWAN (Treasurer) —The shadow Treasurer has a new-found interest in tax, and I can imagine why he is so embarrassed considering that some weeks ago he suggested that this year’s tax cuts in the budget should have been cancelled. I think he would be fairly embarrassed about that performance. He is correct to identify that, in terms of the Henry review, we said we would not be looking at any change to the GST and tax-free super. We said that. Of course when the Australian ran a story on Saturday I made the government’s view on capital gains tax on housing very clear. I made the point that we did not ask the review to look at it, that they were not going to recommend it and that we had not considered it. That is the point I made on Saturday, and I will say it again very clearly: we did not ask the review to look at it, they are not going to recommend it and we are not going to consider it. I went on to make the point that we were not going to be in the daily habit of ruling things in or ruling things out. But I have one suggestion for those opposite—I wonder whether they could get together enough energy, and whether they could get together enough unity, to put in a submission to the Henry review on tax.