Inquiry told to unlock property market for vulnerable

AN inquiry into affordable housing has been urged to heed the recommendations of the Henry tax review, to help prevent people locked out of the property market.

The head of National Shelter, Adrian Pisarski, on Wednesday told the Senate inquiry how the flow-on effects of a lack of affordable housing was pushing more people on to the streets.

In a submission to the inquiry, he highlighted the growing number of homeless people in Australia, which rose from about 89,000 in 2006 to more than 109,000 in 2011.

The shelter also called on the Senate committee to recommend to the Abbott government wide changes to the tax system, on negative gearing and capital gains tax, in line with many other witnesses.

Mr Pisarski wrote that it was arguable that, in a market with limited supply, it was "inflationary to provide incentives to both investors and potential owners to compete for the same supply".

This effectively blocks access to the market for those on low and moderate incomes while providing financial benefits to those who have sufficient financial capacity to enter the market," he wrote.

National Shelter urged the inquiry to take on key Henry recommendations, including replacing the CGT and other tax breaks with a "broad 40% income deduction" and replacing stamp duty with land taxes based on per square metre, rather than "cumulative" value.

The group also called for a review of infrastructure charging in the urban planning system nationwide and a "further examination of a tax on bequests".

- APN NEWSDESK



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