Labor's 'tax, regulate and spend' approach dampens housing outlook

The Labor/Greens Government’s intransigence continues to erode confidence in the housing sector, with falling building approvals compounded by the carbon tax, its attack on housing sub-contractors and the lack of key data for international investors, said Senator Marise Payne, Shadow Minister for Housing.

Senator Payne said that with ABS numbers showing building approvals falling 15 per cent in the year to June 2011, it is inexcusable that Labor is stubbornly pushing ahead with its carbon tax and its plans to swamp independent contractors in the housing industry with more paperwork.

“The carbon tax will increase the cost of building materials, resulting in higher prices for owner-occupiers and investors and continued increases in rents,” Senator Payne said.

“Labor’s imposition of new tax reporting obligations on thousands of independent contractors in the housing sector in July 2012 is simply another attempt to frustrate them into becoming employees and potential union recruits.

“To add insult to injury, Labor still doesn’t have its act together and is yet to release this year’s National Housing Supply Council State of Supply Report, which provides crucial data on housing demand and supply for prospective international investors.”

Senator Payne said the Gillard Labor/Greens Government could help restore confidence and allow the housing market to function more effectively by adopting three simple steps:

1.    Scrap the carbon tax, which if implemented, would add more than $5,000 to the cost of an average new house;

2.    Scrap its plans to impose additional tax reporting obligations on independent contractors working in the housing sector, to maintain flexibility and drive productivity, and;

3.    Fast-track the production and release of the 2011 National Housing Supply Council State of Supply Report to provide up-to-date figures on the gap between supply and demand to potential investors in Australian housing.

“Labor’s tax, regulate and spend approach has made it harder to do business in Australia and the housing sector is just another victim.”