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Thursday, 16 February 2017
Page: 1176

Capital Gains Tax


Senator CAMERON (New South Wales) (14:00): My question is to the Minister representing the Prime Minister, Senator Brandis. Last year, the minister advised the Senate:

There will be no change to the 50 per cent CGT discount for individuals.

Does this remain the Turnbull government's position?


Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandAttorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:00): The government has no intention of supporting Labor's policies on negative gearing or capital gains tax. The government is focused on returning the budget to balance and addressing the cost pressures on households and business, in particular, on energy and child care.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Cameron, a supplementary question.



Senator CAMERON (New South Wales) (14:00): You say you have no intention, but does that include no intention in the May budget? Will there be any changes to the capital gains tax in the May budget?


Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandAttorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:01): The government has no intention of supporting Labor's policies on negative gearing or capital gains tax. We know Labor's policies will do nothing to increase the supply of housing.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Cameron, a final supplementary question.



Senator CAMERON (New South Wales) (14:01): Does this mean that you are completely ruling out any changes? What is the position of the government? Is it the position of the Prime Minister, who claimed the housing market will collapse; the Treasurer, who claimed that house prices will increase; or Ms O'Dwyer, who, in the same day, said house pricing would increase and decrease?


Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandAttorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:02): I think what Labor have done on negative gearing is become jingoistic on housing affordability policy. They believe in silver bullets. It is foolish and it is reckless, and it does not help anybody. The way that Mr Shorten and, indeed, Mr Bowen and the others have engaged in addressing Australians' frustration at the moment with the politics—

The PRESIDENT: Pause the clock. Senator Cameron, a point of order?

Senator Cameron: Mr President, a point of order on relevance. My question was about ruling it out and I would like a clear, unequivocal response to that.

The PRESIDENT: Thank you, Senator Cameron. I will remind the Attorney-General of the question.

Senator BRANDIS: I have already addressed that matter, Mr President, in my answer to both the primary question and the first supplementary question. I go on to observe that the way that Mr Shorten and, indeed, Mr Bowen and others have engaged in addressing Australians' frustration at the moment with the politics of populism and denial is a cruel hoax. It is not going to help anybody buy a home; it is going to make people and their families see their rents go up. So I will leave that to the Labor Party to wear that consequence of their policies.