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Labor will keep capital gains tax and negative gearing policies despite clear market downturn

Labor will pursue changes to capital gains taxes and negative gearing despite a clear downturn in the property market.

Property prices have been falling in most of the nation’s capital cities, with Melbourne and Sydney being the hardest hit.

According to recent CoreLogic data, Melbourne has seen a 2 per cent fall in three months, while Sydney saw an annual decline of 5.6 per cent.

Despite a clear downturn in the market, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Dr Andrew Leigh says Labor will be sticking to its policies around capital gains tax and negative gearing.

“You’ve got to think about the long-term interests for Australia when you’re setting policy and that’s absolutely what we did,” he tells Ross Greenwood.

“We made the judgment that these were tax concessions that weren’t affordable at a time when the debt load has doubled under this government, that we needed to make sure we were rebalancing the market away from investors and towards first home buyers.”

He concedes there’s been a fall in the investor share in the market but insists first home buyers still need support to make their mark.

“What we want to do with these policies, is make sure that the great Aussie dream of home ownership is within the grasp of a family (with) modest incomes.”

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On the topic of a royal commission into the energy sector, Dr Leigh says Labor is “certainly open to one”.

“The big challenge at the moment is the government doesn’t have an energy policy,” he says.