Labor Increasingly Scrutinized Over Real Estate Plans

Negative sentiment appears to be growing around Labor’s positions on matters affecting real estate and other industries.

Real estate related media outlets have begun to sharply criticize Labor over their plans to reduce the scope of negative gearing, and reduce concessions on capital gains.

For the most part the disagreements seem to be more about the timing than the intentions. Though there is some of that too.

For one example, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) recently wrote that Labor was “targeting” accountants, lawyers, and real estate agents with its proposed changes related to “cross-border financial crime”.

Among the measures they discussed was reversing cuts to the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

They are also looking at giving additional money to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC).

The impetus for these measures is, of course, the increasing realization that much of the foreign (including Chinese) money coming in to the Australian real estate market has been illegal, at least in respect to Chinese laws.

Anti-money-laundering laws were promised by the Morrison government but there have as yet been no such measures to pass Parliament.

It is true that a recent crackdown by the Foreign Investments Review Board (FIRB) is causing more divestment of property by foreign investors who have broken Australia’s rules and who have been forced to sell.

And it is also true that China recently sent undercover investigators into Australia to try to recover some of the money that left China illegally.

This was reported by ABC last week in their show covering “Project Dragon”.

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen said not enough has been done.

“We believe the best way to deal with transnational crime is through official cooperation, including arrangements that already exist between Australia and China.”

But some have said these things are not going to have much effect on the amount of Chinese money coming in.

“The government has completely dropped the ball on money laundering reform. According to the government’s own work plan, real estate agents should already be covered by our money laundering laws. The Liberals have done nothing to progress this.

“The Liberals aren’t interested in prosecuting serious financial crime. They cut funding to ASIC, they planned to cut funding to the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce and they ripped hundreds of millions of dollars out of the Australian Federal Police, who work with our partners abroad to disrupt transnational organised crime.”

Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) President Adrian Kelly said others besides the real estate industry should bear some of the burden.

“We are working with government on an approach that minimises the impact on agents because much of the information can be sought from others involved in the transaction process, including the banks and their conveying process.”

At the same time Arthur Moses SC, President of the Law Council of Australia, said implementing the full regulatory package aimed at stopping international money laundering would conflict with lawyers’ duties of confidentiality, and add additional legal costs and burdens to an already stressful situation.

On the other side, those who oversee financial crime say reforms have been waiting in the wings for more than 12 years, and not enough has been forthcoming.

But that is only part of the story.

There are also the looming change in taxes for foreigners and Australian expatriots, which some say would be leaving those who still own property in a bad position.

Coalition government has given expats until June to sell their Australian property if it constitutes their “main residence”. That isn’t a lot of time.

And according to Domain, many expats and foreigners are rushing to sell now, in anticipation of new laws they expect might be enacted.

However, Labor has claimed it will change the rules to protect these expats from new taxes. Mr Bowen made a statement about this as well.

“The Liberals have botched this from the very start and so it will be up to incoming Labor government to work through outstanding tax measures and iron out any unintended consequences.

“This process is just one of many instances where the Coalition has bungled housing policy. Labor meanwhile has listened to the concerns of the expat Australians.

“I wrote to Scott Morrison last year about the matter and we have also relayed our concerns to Josh Frydenberg. We have flagged issues like retrospectivity as matters we would be willing to discuss further.”

Back on the other side of the coin, some 49 per cent of property investors polled said they would reduce investment if Labor implements their desired changes to capital gains taxes and negative gearing.

Of the general populace, 33 per cent said they would happily consider buying a new property, but that number dropped to 24 per cent who said they would if Labor’s plans go through.

While opinions vary, news stories have increasingly been claiming that changes to negative gearing will not actually stimulate demand, as Labor claims, but will instead cause further slowing of an already depressed market.

Property Council of Australia CEO Ken Morrison said survey results challenge the ALP’s assumption that its plans will boost the new property market.

“The ALP policy was first announced a few years ago when Australia’s residential property market was in a very different state.

“Since then, we’ve seen banks tighten up their lending, as well as changes to foreign investment rules, along with falls in residential property values in most markets.”

As is so often the case, only time will tell.

Ref: Lonny. (27.02.2019). Labor Increasingly Scrutinized Over Real Estate Plans. Retrieved from https://www.propertynerd.com.au/news/labor-increasingly-scrutinized-over-real-estate-plans

澳大利亚工党Labor将越来越多地审查房地产计划

在影响房地产和其他行业的问题上,工党的立场似乎正在增加负面情绪。

房地产相关媒体已经开始严厉批评工党减少负面负债范围的计划,并减少对资本收益的让步。

在大多数情况下,分歧似乎更多的是时间而非意图。

例如,澳大利亚金融评论(AFR)最近写道,工党正在“瞄准”会计师,律师和房地产经纪人,其拟议的变化与“跨境金融犯罪”有关。

他们讨论的措施之一是取消对澳大利亚联邦警察局和澳大利亚证券和投资委员会(ASIC)的削减。

他们还希望向澳大利亚交易报告和分析中心(AUSTRAC)提供额外资金。

当然,这些措施的动力是越来越多的认识到,进入澳大利亚房地产市场的大部分外国(包括中国)资金都是非法的,至少在中国法律方面是这样。

莫里森 Morrison 政府承诺反洗钱法​​律,但目前还没有通过议会的措施。

确实,外国投资审查委员会(FIRB)最近的一次整治导致外国投资者更多地撤资,这些外国投资者违反了澳大利亚的规则,并被迫出售。

而且,中国最近派出秘密调查人员到澳大利亚试图收回一些非法离开中国的钱。

ABC广播公司上周在他们的节目中报道了“Project Dragon”。

影子财务主管克里斯鲍文 Chris Bowen 说还做得不够。

“我们认为,处理跨国犯罪的最佳方式是通过官方合作,包括澳中两国之间已经存在的安排。”

但有些人表示,这些事情不会对中国的资金流入产生太大影响。

“政府已完全放弃洗钱改革。根据政府自己的工作计划,房地产经纪人应该已经被我们的洗钱法所覆盖。自由党 Liberals 没有采取任何措施来推动这项工作。

“自由党对起诉严重的金融犯罪并不感兴趣。他们削减了对ASIC的资金,他们计划削减对严重金融犯罪专题组的资金,他们从与我们的合作伙伴合作的澳大利亚联邦警察局中榨取了数亿澳元“

澳大利亚房地产协会(REIA)总裁阿德里安凯利 Adrian Kelly 说,除了房地产行业以外的其他人应该承担一些负担。

“我们正在与政府合作,采取最小化对代理商影响的方法,因为可以从交易过程中涉及的其他人那里获取大部分信息,包括银行及其传送过程。”

与此同时,澳大利亚法律委员会主席Arthur Moses SC表示,实施旨在制止国际洗钱活动的全面监管方案将与律师的保密义务相冲突,并为已经紧张的局势增加额外的法律费用和负担。

另一方面,那些监督金融犯罪的人说,改革已经等待了12年多,而且还没有进行足够的改革。

但这只是故事的一部分。

外国人和澳大利亚外籍人士的税收也在不断变化,有人说这会使那些仍然拥有财产的人处于不利地位。

如果澳大利亚财产成为他们的“主要住所”,联合政府已要求外籍人士6月份前出售其澳大利亚财产。这没有很多时间。

根据Domain的说法,许多外籍人士和外国人现在急于出售,因为他们预计可能会实施新的法律。

然而,工党声称它将改变规则,以保护这些外籍人士免受新税收的影响。鲍文先生也对此发表了声明。

“自由党从一开始就搞砸了这一点,因此如果工党政府接管将通过未完成的税收措施来解决任何意想不到的后果。

“这个过程只是联盟扼杀住房政策的众多例子之一。同时,工党也听取了外籍澳大利亚人的担忧。

“我去年曾写过斯科特莫里森 Scott Morrison 关于此事的事情,我们也向Josh Frydenberg转达了我们的担忧。我们已经将追溯性等问题作为我们愿意进一步讨论的问题。”

另一方面,约有49%的受访投资者称,如果工党实施资本利得税和负资产负债的理想变化,他们将减少投资。

在一般民众中,33%的人表示会很乐意考虑购买一处新房产,但这个数字下降到24%,如果工党的计划通过,他们会这么做。

虽然意见各不相同,但新闻报道越来越多地声称负面负债的变化实际上不会刺激需求,正如工党所声称的那样,而是会导致已经萧条的市场进一步放缓。

澳大利亚房地产委员会首席执行官Ken Morrison表示,调查结果挑战了ALP的假设,即其计划将推动新的房地产市场。

“ALP政策是几年前首次宣布的,当时澳大利亚的住宅房地产市场处于一个非常不同的状态。

“从那时起,我们看到银行收紧贷款,以及外国投资规则的变化,以及大多数市场的住宅房产价值下跌。”

通常情况下,只有时间会证明。

引用: Lonny. (27.02.2019). Labor Increasingly Scrutinized Over Real Estate Plans. Retrieved from https://www.propertynerd.com.au/news/labor-increasingly-scrutinized-over-real-estate-plans