Malcolm Turnbull pens blog post take-down of report on negative gearing savings

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has written a take-down of an independent report recommending changes to negative gearing, arguing the document is littered with inaccuracies, unsupported claims and direct contradictions.

Negative gearing is brewing as a key election issue and a point of clear division between the major parties.

The Government has ruled out changes, while Labor's election policy is to restrict negative gearing to new homes from July next year, with a projected saving of $32.1 billion over a decade.

The Grattan Institute's chief executive John Daley has released a report recommending significant changes to negative gearing that could save more than $5 billion a year.

"I have a great deal of respect for John Daley and the Grattan Institute, but on this occasion they have it wrong," Mr Turnbull wrote in a scathing blog post on his website.

"Unfortunately, the paper is littered with factually incorrect statements, claims that are unsupported by evidence and direct contradictions.

"And its economic analysis in many places leaves a lot to be desired."

The Prime Minister's wife Lucy Turnbull is a member of the Grattan Institute board but responded to the ABC's inquiries by distancing herself from the report.

"I don't direct policy, that's a role for management,” she said.

ABC broadcaster Geraldine Doogue is also a member of the board and interviewed Treasurer Scott Morrison about its content this morning.

The research was part of the independent think tank's Hot Property report, which argued losses from new housing investments should only be deducted from other investments, instead of from wage income.

Professor Daley has called on the Government to also abolish the income tax deduction and halve the 50 per cent capital gains tax discount.

He said the current negative gearing arrangements distorted investment decisions and pushed up house prices.

"It costs the Commonwealth a lot of money," he said.

"Four little changes would increase the amount of tax each year — collected by the Commonwealth — by about $5 billion."

Source: ABC News

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