Labor says its housing policy is positive

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Emma Husar, Rika Kuala and Chris Bowen. Photo: Megan Dunn

After seven years of looking to buy her own home, South Penrith resident Rika Kuala is hoping a change in Government policy will allow for her big break.

As a single mum paying for her son’s university education, there’s not much left each week for Ms Kuala to put away to get ahead of increasing house prices and competitive investors.

Ms Kuala said in the current market, the dream of buying her first home is over.

“At the moment there is no dream for me. There is no way I can buy a house because investors have made the prices go up,” she said.

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen spoke with Ms Kuala at her rented home on Wednesday morning about the need to reform negative gearing and the capital tax discount.

“The policy is not only to provide Government revenue to fund hospitals and schools, but to give people like Rika a more level playing field,” he said.

“At the moment, if Rika went to an auction to bid for a house, there’d be investors there.

The investor has negative gearing, and a capital gains tax discount and Rika’s got nothing.”

Mr Bowen said more than half of property purchases in Australia are by investors, and just one in seven are first home buyers, but the balance needs to be fixed.

“That’s the ultimate answer to housing affordability, to make it easier for Rika to get into the market,” he said.

Labor candidate for Lindsay, Emma Husar said homes in western Sydney are selling fast, then being leased out.

“The investors are buying and purely for the investment, these houses are not being taken up by families that need accommodation and to break out of that rental market,” she said.

“I’d rather see the government help people into their first home rather than help people buy their seventh or eighth.”

Labor, if elected, would introduce the policy on July 1, 2017.

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