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Australian Council of Social Service calls for slashing tax breaks for property investors

Australian Council of Social Service calls for slashing tax breaks for property investors

Tax breaks for property investors should be slashed and the Medicare levy lifted to pump more funding into welfare spending, according to the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS).

In its pre-budget submission, the peak welfare group says there is "no more fat to chew" from lower-paid workers or disadvantaged Australians as the Government seeks to carve out further savings.

ACOSS is urging the Federal Government to consider a range of measures that would save $9.4 billion by 2018-19, such as reducing the current 50 per cent discount on capital gains tax (CGT) and winding back generous tax breaks on negative gearing.

ACOSS chief executive Dr Cassandra Goldie told the ABC the future welfare of less-well-off Australians overrides generous tax concessions for property investors.

"We can no longer afford the 50 per cent discount on taxes for capital gains from property assets and deductions for such investment using negative gearing," Dr Goldie said.

The ACOSS submission calls for the CGT discount to be at least halved and negative gearing concessions reduced to cool property speculation and the current housing affordability crisis.

On Friday, Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe suggested altering the mix of tax breaks for property investors, such as capital gains tax and negative gearing, could tax some heat out of the currently hot real estate market.

Dr Goldie has urged the Government to recast its budget strategy and to move on from a "one-sided focus on spending cuts", especially in the area of welfare spending.

"It is clear that governments will not be able to fund the cost of essential services such as health, aged care and NDIS [National Disability Insurance Scheme] from present tax revenues," Dr Goldie said.

"It is not fair or reasonable to expect people who need to see a doctor, attend hospital or move into aged care to pay more for these essential services."

Read the full article at ABC

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