An Australian senator has pressured an elected MP to flatly rule out her support for changes to negative gearing, resulting in a tense exchange.
Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie on Tuesday demanded Independent MP Monique Ryan rule out backing the investment scheme, which allows taxpayers to offset the costs associated with an investment property against their taxable income, after Dr Ryan signalled her support for wider tax reform.
“Would you support any changes to negative gearing?” Today show host Karl Stefanovic asked the crossbencher.
“Australians need certainty and they need to understand what their tax system looks like in the future,” Dr Ryan said.
“I think that, as I’ve said again, all things should be on the table in terms of tax reform in this country. But we shouldn’t be making these willy-nilly changes. We shouldn’t be tinkering around the edges of the tax system.”
Senator Mckenzie said Dr Ryan raised “an interesting point” given the Albanese government’s backflip on its stage three tax cuts.
“When you appreciate and understand that over 2.2 million Australians are property investors as a way to actually deal with some of the debts, rental impacts of bracket creep, they’re the types of things that people like Monique need to flatly rule out any changes to,” she said.
“Australians rejected the Labor Party the last time they put that on the table. We’re concerned now, given you can’t trust a thing. These guys and gals say that this could be on the table come May.”
Dr Ryan, who said she supported “measured” tax reforms including Labor’s changes to its stage three tax cuts, issued a curt response to the senators probing.
“I think that this sort of wedging in is the sort of thing that Australians hate about politics. They want politicians to lead and to make decisions and not to try and trap each other in this sort of way.