Negative Gearing In Australia's Housing Sytem Queensland University Of Technology Essay

2199 words - 9 pages

SWB108
Australian Society, Systems and
Policies
Assessment Task 2 Essay
The Role of Negative Gearing in
Australia’s Housing System
Name: Brittany Brooking
Student number: 10139648
Due date: Friday October 26
Word count: 1861 words
2
Under Article 25(1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adequate
housing is listed as a basic human right everyone is entitled to (United
Nations, 1948). For many Australians, this need is not being met under the
current housing policies in place. This is made apparent through the issues
people are facing with housing affordability. Healey (2016, p. 2) defines
housing affordability as the relationship between the cost of housing and the
household income, and affordability becomes an issue when the expenses
cannot be met with the amount of income. This essay examines the role
negative gearing plays in this housing system. It was found that the policy
acts a tax minimisation strategy used by investors, only benefiting those who
are wealthy enough to invest in property in the first place. Additionally, it
drives the price of rents to increase, contributing towards the housing
affordability issue. Based on this evidence, Australia’s housing system is not
equal with negative gearing, and addressing the ideological positions that
underpin the policy is essential in instigating change.
The current Australian housing system can be characterised by issues in
affordability and a dominance of private ownership over public. Demographia
(2018) recently released their annual international study on housing
affordability, ranking Australia’s housing market as the third least affordable
amongst the countries surveyed. This reveals a major economic problem for
Australia, which is further confirmed through additional statistics. Healey
(2016, p. 1) reports that given the income to house price ratio in 1981-82,
three years of income would be enough to purchase a house. That ratio has
now doubled nationally, and tripled in Sydney during the early 2000s property
boom (Healey, p. 1). Assessing housing prices in comparison to income
reveals that the inflation of prices is not balanced by current wages. This
economic crisis has various social impacts for different groups. As Saunders
(2017, p. 743) explains, younger people are struggling to enter the housing
market, and low-income renters face a drain on their ability to meet needs
unrelated to housing, pushing them closer to poverty. Additionally, over
100,000 people in Australia are regarded as homeless (Healey, p. 2). This
statistic is not helped by the lack of public and community housing in
Australia. Orchard (2014, p. 209) notes that 5% of Australians are living in
3
social housing, meaning that the remaining 95% of housing is privately
owned. Marston (2014, p. 110) asserts that with such a dominance of private
ownership, policies may often place more importance on the financial value of
housing rather than the integral social value it holds. Market forces overpower...

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