Interview with Laura Jayes, AM Agenda
16 May 2023
LAURA JAYES: Joining me now is Shadow Finance Minister Jane Hume. Jane, this warning comes from Nab, an upgrade, just a week after the Budget, can you really link the two do you think?
JANE HUME: Well, I don't think you can unlink the two, certainly, we saw the priority of reducing inflation specially removed from the fiscal objectives and strategy of the Budget, just as we saw at the last October Budget, the removal of the objectives of a balanced Budgets over the medium term, which I think is actually a failure of this Government to do what it needs to do. When you've had inflation with a seven in front of it for three quarters in a row, removing the objective of reducing inflation is really irresponsible because inflation is that thief in the night, it erodes you purchasing power, it eats away at your savings, it keeps real wages low and it reduces your standard of living. Surely the objective of a responsible Government is to improve the standard of living for all Australians.
LAURA JAYES: Yeah, let's talk about housing more generally now, because some backbenchers are pushing for changes to negative gearing, limiting it to just one property that can be negatively geared, do you think that's a good idea?
JANE HUME: This is interesting isn’t it, I heard that this was one of the issues raised as a policy idea at the Labor Party policy convention. It’s not as if we haven't heard this before, we've seen this film before, I think it’s back to the future. It’s a lot like Bill Shorten’s broad taxing objective Laura, let's remember, just a year ago, in fact this time last year, Anthony Albanese was looking Australians in the eye saying that there will be no new taxes. Well since then we have seen taxes on superannuation, changes to the franking credits regime, now a tax on farmers, now a tax on truckies, both of which were announced in the recent Budget. Now we are talking about changes to negative gearing as well, this is sounding very much like the broken promise of all of those other tax changes, so this is not surprising. We also know that The Greens were pushing this very policy, as a condition to supporting the Housing Australia Future Fund, so I think that there are too many eerie coincidences here.
LAURA JAYES: But is it a good idea?
JANE HUME: Well, let’s have a look at what this policy entails. Are we talking about negative gearing on new properties or just on existing properties? Is it only on residential properties or is it on commercial properties as well? Is it retrospective or prospective? There are no details here, so let’s have a look at what this policy means.
LAURA JAYES: I mean, in general, we have got a perfect opportunity to have a conversation about this in the leadup to the next election. Do you think negative gearing can be looked at, should be tinkered with?
JANE HUME: Don’t you think through Laura, what it’s really doing is avoiding the real issue which is housing supply. The only way you can open up housing supply is to get the States onboard. Now if you’re in Government, as Anthony Albanese is at a Federal level, and you've got every State and Territory bar one in Tasmania, but every State and Territory on the mainland, surely, surely, this is the opportunity to bang those heads together and open up supply. Because that is the only way you can sustainably open up housing and make it more accessible and more affordable for all Australians, particularly if you've got those high migration, those high net migration numbers coming in. You have to make sure that you’ve got somewhere for those new migrants to live, but also you've got to make sure you don't lower the standard of living for Australians that are already here, you've got to make sure you've got the infrastructure to support that migration figure as well. Net migration is a good thing, but you've got to make sure you've got housing and infrastructure sorted at the same time.
LAURA JAYES: Let me just finally talk about the Victorian Liberal Party. Moira Deeming’s expulsion, she told Peta Credlin last night that her expulsion is essentially confusing and disappointing for conservative female voters. What do you say to that?
JANE HUME: Well, I heard that Moira Deeming asked the question, that the Liberal Party only wants a certain type of woman in its ranks and that’s kind of true. We want women who are going to be team players, women who are going to support the leader and who will help develop and articulate policies that reflect the views of mainstream Australia and make mainstream Australians’ lives better. That’s the kind of woman we want in the ranks of the Liberal Party and I think Moira knew that the day she signed up.
LAURA JAYES: So essentially, it’s because she’s not a team player?
JANE HUME: Well look, can you imagine if I tried to sue Peter Dutton? I don't think that’s the act of a team player.
LAURA JAYES: Jane Hume, thanks so much for your time.