Labor policy rethink needed to win majority government: Damian Collins

Labor policy rethink needed to win majority government: Damian Collins
Labor policy rethink needed to win majority government: Damian Collins

GUEST OBSERVER

While the weekend’s election was tight, if nothing else, it’s clear that Labor needs to rethink some of their policies if they’re to win a majority government in the future. 

After a bruising loss in the 2013 federal election, when Kevin Rudd fell to Tony Abbott in a landslide defeat, the Labor party has made up significant ground on the Liberals – the weekend’s election is clear proof of this.

However, it would seem that Labor’s ability to regain support isn’t necessarily because the Australian voter base is highly attracted to its policies, but rather has come from the party’s so called “mediscare” campaign. 

This was evident in the final weeks of the election campaign, when Labor strategically switched its focus from promoting its own policies to a sustained attack on the Liberal party over claims that it wanted to privatise Medicare – a claim that the Liberal’s unequivocally denied. 

The tactic clearly worked, though, and as soon as the polls closed, Labor was immediately espousing that it had won the campaign, if not the election.

Nevertheless, if Labor wants to form a majority government in future elections it will have to seriously rethink some of their policies, because they’ve failed to convince many middle-class voters of their plan for Australia’s future. Even though they’ve already won more seats than the 2013 election, Labor’s primary vote is currently the second lowest on record.

Labor’s approach to negative gearing is a prime example of a policy they need to rethink.

Being one of the party’s key policies, and one that is distinctly at odds with the Liberal party, it’s clear Labor’s stance on the matter hasn’t been accepted by ordinary Australians.

If Labor hasn’t already got the message, then maybe the results from a recent survey will show exactly how out of touch their negative gearing policy is with the Australian public.                 

The Real Estate Institute of WA conducted a survey in the weeks leading up to the election.

Asked if negative gearing should be restricted to only newly-built properties, just 3 percent of respondents answered, yes.

That is a resounding rejection of Labor’s negative gearing policy, which if implemented will cause major disruption to Australia’s housing markets.

With more than 9 million houses in Australia owned by owner-occupiers and investors, this is a significant portion of the voter base that will be effected.

These voters would be very hesitant to back a Labor party with their current negative gearing policy for fear they’d see the value of their properties decline.

That’s not even taking into account the huge number of renters that would be negatively affected as well.

Given this, Labor will have to seriously rethink their stance on negative gearing, and other policies, if they’re to have any chance of forming a majority government in future elections.

Damian Collins is the founder and managing director of Momentum Wealth and can be contacted here.

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Negative gearing Election

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