Labor negative gearing policy 'tax grab'
The government has stepped up its attack on Labor's negative gearing policy, seizing on warnings from lending pioneer John Symond that it could tip Australia into a recession.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told the Today Show the Labor plan was nothing more than a "$32 billion tax grab" that would "dramatically" slash house prices.
Mr Symond, chair of Aussie Home Loans, described it as a "hand grenade" and warned it would push up interest rates and unemployment and impact superannuation funds.
Mr Frydenberg said the policy would be a "disaster" and home owners and renters would all be worse off.
"Labor's policy will be a terrible outcome for people with debts in their own home, people who are even looking to get into their own home," he said.
"You don't want the value of everyone's home to go dramatically down."
Labor has promised to limit negative gearing to new dwellings in government, but those who own existing investment properties will be protected.
Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen immediately hit out at Mr Symon said the businessman had consistently changed his position.
"Mr Symond was against reform, then he was reform and now he's against it again," Mr Bowen said.
"There have been times where Mr Symond, just like Scott Morrison has argued there were excesses with negative gearing.
"Labor wants to level the playing field so all Australians can aspire and realise the dream of owning their own home."
The government will attempt to make the Labor reform a key election issue, even though prices have fallen under the coalition.
Mr Frydenberg, though, said the falls had been "managed" by the government, after regulators had requested a "tightening" of lending standards.