Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has made housing one of the hottest topics of this year's election after claiming that he thinks literally every house in Australia will be "worth less" under Labor.
Turnbull has been accused of going negative and turning into Tony Abbott recently, as he attacks Labor's negative gearing policy which reins in tax breaks for investors who buy up homes.
Labor's policy is in response to Australia's insanely hot housing market. With the average home in Sydney selling for more than $1 million, many young people have not been able to get into the housing market in capital cities, without considerable help from parents.
When faced with the issue last year, then Treasurer Joe Hockey famously told young people looking to buy a house to "get a good job that pays good money".
So BuzzFeed News went along to the prime minister's press conference on Monday, seeking his advice for young people who can't afford homes and don't have parents who can help them.
This was the question:
"Just on negative gearing and housing affordability, do you have a message for young people who don't have parents who can act as a guarantor on a mortgage, who can't afford a deposit of $100,000 and probably face the prospect of renting the rest of their lives and only ever see housing prices go up and up. Do you have a recommendation for what they can do?"
This is how Turnbull replied:
"Look let me just say this. The Labor party policy on negative gearing and capital gains tax are calculated to lower the value of Australians homes. They are proposing a massive shock to the market. Pulling out 30% of the buyers for residential property. It's designed to lower the value of Australian homes. It will be a very serious negative shock to the market."
BuzzFeed News interjected:
"But young people can't buy homes. Young people can't afford homes."
And then the prime minister said this:
"Turning to capital gains tax, let's just consider this. What is our central challenge? To transition to a 21st century economy, to ensure young people get jobs of the future. To ensure that they have jobs. How do we do that? We do that by promoting investment and innovation. That is why our innovation statement sets out real incentives, for people to invest in the CEA's of the future. If there were some naval officers, leaving a navy vessel, retiring from the navy today trying to start up a CEA, under our plan there are real incentives, under our plan, the innovation policy there are real incentives to invest. What has Labor put up? Labor is proposing to lift Capital Gains by 50%. What Labor is saying to investors is, if you invest in any project, any business, any asset we will increase the tax on any gain you may realize by 50%. They are setting out to reduce investment, discourage investment. We believe the future of our economy, we believe the future of our security, the key objective to our economic growth is got to be around innovation, technology, opening up markets, investment and employment. That is what we mean by growth, growing our opportunities and a key part of that is investment. We are in favor of investment. We are encouraging investment. Labor is increasing the tax of investment by 50% and that can do only one thing, result in less investment, less growth, fewer jobs."
It's never been a more exciting time to listen to the prime minister waffle about ~innovation~.
Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Mark Di Stefano at email@example.com.
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