Senate debates

Monday, 27 March 2023

Matters of Urgency

Pensions and Benefits

4:56 pm

Photo of David PocockDavid Pocock (ACT, Independent) Share this | Hansard source

The 2021 census showed that the number of women experiencing homelessness increased by 10.1 per cent. We know that one in four women and children fleeing violence are not getting the accommodation support they need. We clearly need more social and affordable housing, which brings us to the Housing Australia Future Fund. Under the current proposal, the government will spend, at best, $500 million a year on new social and affordable housing supply. That's 30,000 social and affordable houses over five years. Translate that to the ACT and that's at best 540 houses. At the same time, the ACT is set to lose over 2,000 National Rental Affordability Scheme properties. That's 2,000 affordable rentals, but don't worry—we're going to get 540 social and affordable homes!

Let's compare the $10 billion off-budget fund, which will hopefully return $500 million, to what the government spends subsidising investment properties through generous tax concessions: $23.7 billion in revenue foregone on capital gains tax discounts for individuals such as property investors and for trusts, and tax benefits of around $3.6 billion in 2019-20 through negative gearing. Even the Medical Research Future Fund, at $21 billion, disperses more annually than the HAFF will. Then we have the $250 billion stage 3 tax cuts. My community has made it clear to me that they expect the stage 3 tax cuts to be redesigned to deal with the big issues we face. Australians are sick of these issues being politicised by the major parties at the expense of all of us. Let's make decisions that are good for all Australians and our future.


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