Browsing articles in "Investment"
Monday 30th May 2016 - 6:25 pm
Comments Off on “Cut negative gearing” government urged

“Cut negative gearing” government urged

by Alan Thornhill

Tax breaks which favour investors have pushed Australian home prices to record – and unaffordable – levels, according to bodies representing families on low to moderate incomes.

These include the Australian Council of Social Security.

Its chief executive officer, Dr Cassandra Goldie, says its time to “get serious” about reforming negative gearing and capital gains tax breaks, which unfairly favour the rich.

Speaking on behalf of A national alliance of community housing and welfare groups, which is urging swift and deep reforms, Dr Goldie said: “Australia is in the midst of a housing crisis…”

She said:“Tax settings that encourage speculative investment and inflate house prices – like negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount – must be addressed in a new national strategy to address housing affordability.”

“These unfair tax concessions cost the federal budget more than $7 billion every year,” Dr Goldie said.

Over half of these tax breaks go to investors in the top 10 per cent of income earners, she added.

The alliance is made up of Homelessness Australia , National Shelter, the Community Housing Industry Association and the Australian Council of Social Service .

It is asking all Australians to sign a petition calling for tax reforms that put ordinary people ahead of the interests of investors.

Dr Goldie said: “People who negatively gear claim an average loss of $8,722 per year.

“This means funding for essential services such as education, health and dedicated housing for low income families are reduced.

“Spending savings should be redirected to improve affordability, including a tax rebate for new affordable housing, and significantly increased investment in public and community housing,” she added.

She said governments must do all that they can to ensure everyone pays their fair share of tax to enable us to fund our services properly into the future and to help end the housing crisis that is pushing people into financial hardship.

“By signing the Vote Home petition, Australians can call on party leaders to change unfair tax concessions and unlock affordable housing for all ,” Dr Goldie added.

However her campaign has little immediate chance of success.

The government argues that negative gearing is necessary to produce the supply of homes that Australia needs and the opposition is prepared to accept only limited changes to it.

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Thursday 26th May 2016 - 12:55 pm
Comments Off on Capital spending plunges

Capital spending plunges

by Alan Thornhill

New private capital spending fell by 5.2 per cent in March, on seasonally adjusted figures the Bureau of Statistics published today.

The Bureau also reported that total new private capital spending fell by 15.4 per cent in the 12 months to the end of March.

This plunge coincides with the end of the mineral boom in Australia.

The Bureau said new private capital spending on buildings and structures had fallen by 7.9 per cent in the March quarter and 18.8 per cent over the year.

Wednesday 25th May 2016 - 3:59 pm
Comments Off on Construction work falls

Construction work falls

by Alan Thornhill

The value of construction work done in Australia fell by 3 per cent in the March quarter, according to figures published by the Bureau of Statistics today.

The trend figures – which are preliminary – reflect a period of transition in which strong residential construction is still being outweighed by a fall in the amount of engineering work being done, as the nation’s mining boom fades.

The Bureau said the value of residential building work done rose by 2.2 per cent in the quarter.

However the value of engineering work fell by 6.5 per cent.

Overall, the value of construction work done in the March quarter fell by 3 per cent, the Bureau said.

Wednesday 25th May 2016 - 8:49 am
Comments Off on Reserve Bank chief warns property investors

Reserve Bank chief warns property investors

by Alan Thornhill

“There is no easy road to riches,” the Reserve Bank Governor warned today.

Glenn Stevens, who has spent 10 years in the post, said he had seen property prices fall “two or three times.”

However Mr Steven admitted that Australian property prices now, both in home and commercial markets, are generally higher now than when he first took the job.

He was replying to reporters’ questions at a function in Sydney..

He said that at one point the number of apartments being built in Australia was well short of population requirements.

But markets were closer to balance now.

Tax concessions the Federal government offers, to encourage new building, have become a major flashpoint, in the current national elections.

Saturday 21st May 2016 - 7:52 pm
Comments Off on PM talks of extra protection for the Great Barrier Reef and….

PM talks of extra protection for the Great Barrier Reef and….

by Alan Thornhill

The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, announced new measures today to protect the Great Barrier Reef and other Australian tourist attractions.

He also said he had not been told in advance of plans by the Federal police to raid a Labor party office and homes in Melbourne searching for leaked material, about the woes of his troubled National Broadband network.

The broadcaster, David Attenborough, who recently completed a series of programs on the Great Barrier Reef, said later that it is mad to think that unlimited growth is possible in a finite world.

Mr Turnbull, who will face elections on July 2, said that before European settlement rainwater had sunk into Australian soils, and had been cleaned naturally before it reached the sea.

But he added: “As there is more development, you get more runoff.

“You get more nutrients in the water.

“And you see what’s called the wrack, the weeds, you see along the foreshore there and a deterioration of the quality overall.

He was speaking in the Tuggerah Lakes district, a series of three interconnected lagoons, on the New South Wales central coast.

Mr TurnbullHe said the government’s new policy: “… means installing more and better pollutant traps so that large, as you know, large bits of rubbish don’t float into the lakes.

Mr Turnbull said that – as they had developed their communities – European settlers had allowed water to rush through, rush down drains and storm water pipes, far too quickly.

“So the key is to slow it down< Mr Turnbull said. He said: "... one of the big priorities of the Great Barrier Reef, for example - is to build swales *along streams. (my dictionary says swales are "... low tracts of land, especially ones that are moist or marshy. The term can refer to natural landscape features or a human-created ones It says artificial swales are often designed to manage water runoff, filter pollutants, and increase rainwater infiltration). “So when the run-off comes off fields, particularly with fertilisers, instead of rushing straight into the water-course, it is slowed down, settles and sinks into the ground and is then naturally cleaned through the environment,” Mr Turnbull said. He also confirmed that his Communications Minister, Senator Mitch Fifield, had known about the Federal police investigation into the NBN leaks some months ago but did not tell him. “...yes, that’s right,” Mr Turnbull said when questioned on the matter. “I think it’s entirely appropriate,” he added.

Tuesday 17th May 2016 - 7:09 pm
Comments Off on RBA statement moves $A

RBA statement moves $A

by Alan Thornhill

The $A was holding tenaciously late today to gains it made after the Reserve bank revealed that some board members were reluctant to cut rates on May 3.

This was confirmed when the bank released the minutes of its board meeting today.

Currency traders responded by pushing up the $A by about half a US cent to 73.39US cents.

And by 5pm today, the $A was still selling at 73.54US cents.

The bank admitted, in its minutes, that board members “had discussed the merits” of a cut in the bank’s marker interest rates, at the May 3 meeting.

That rate was cut from 2 to 1.75 per cent.

The decision was based on a report that the Australian Bureau of Statistics had published the previous week, noting that consumer prices had actually fallen in the first three months of this year.

Tuesday 17th May 2016 - 4:45 pm
Comments Off on Vehicle sales:the ABS reports

Vehicle sales:the ABS reports

by Alan Thornhill

Australia’s new vehicle sales rose by 0.3 per cent in April on trend figures published by the Bureau of Statistics today.

However the bureau’s seasonally adjusted figures registered a 2.5 per cent fall over the same time.

It added that its trend tables showed that there were 98,460 new vehicle sales in April.

The Bureau said Canberra had recorded Australia’s biggest increase in trend sales over that time.

That was 1.8 per cent.

Queensland had seen the nation’s biggest fall, with sales in that State falling by -0.5 per cent in trend terms during April.

Monday 16th May 2016 - 6:29 pm
Comments Off on PM woos WA voters

PM woos WA voters

by Alan Thornhill

Malcolm Turnbull sought to reassure West Australians today that high tensile Australian steel will be used in his government’s naval shipbuilding program.

Speaking at the Austal ship building yard at Henderson, Western Australia, Mr Turnbull said this would help to offset job losses that would otherwise come with the nation’s move away from an economy based on a mining boom.

He said: “some of the most sophisticated naval vessels in the world, (were being built) right here in Perth.”

Many had been exported to Amman.

“This yard, Austal ships, has built 250 vessels and 200 of them have been exported,” Mr Turnbull said.

“ This company, Austal, represents exactly what we are seeking to achieve with our defence industry plan,” he added.

“ It sums up the objectives of our national economic plan – jobs and growth, driving advanced manufacturing, exports, technology, jobs and growth,” the Prime Minister said.

At a news conference later, Mr Turnbull denied a reporter’s suggestion that the State’s Liberal Premier, Colin Barnett, had not been invited to the shipyard ceremony today, because he is “on the nose,” politically.

Mr Turnbull said this had simply been because the event was national, not a State one.

He praised the man who has built Austal ships into a successful international business.

“What John Rothwell has done here, as a great leader of Australian industry, as a great ship builder, he has taken Australian technology and created Australian jobs and built a global business,” Mr Turnbull said.

“… I am delighted that we are supporting Austal and they are providing these 19, up to 21 Pacific Patrol Boats.

“ and they’ll be built right here.

“ and we expect the Offshore Patrol Vessels, of course after the first two are built in Adelaide, they will be built here at Henderson as well,” Me Turnbull said.

He is campaigning for re-election in a vote to be held on July 2.

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Alan Thornhill

Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.

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