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Labor slams treasurer's housing 'oblivion'

AAP logoAAP 2/12/2016

The federal government's decision not to change negative gearing tax concessions shows they are more concerned about investors than they are housing affordability, says Labor.

Treasurer Scott Morrison met with state and territory counterparts in Canberra on Friday to discuss how to help the 30 per cent of Australians who rent, half of whom are on low incomes.

The treasurers adopted the recommendations of a new report into better ways to spend the $11 billion a year spent on public housing.

But Mr Morrison has ruled out changes to negative gearing - which is understood to have been raised by state treasurers at the meeting.

He says withdrawing negative gearing tax concessions would affect mum-and-dad investors and result in increased rents.

Labor spokesman Chris Bowen said the government is ignoring the reality faced by people trying to buy their first home.

"Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison are oblivious of the housing affordability crisis that threatens to see a generation of Australian young people locked out of the housing market," he said.

Mr Bowen says the treasurer is "more concerned at defending tax concessions for investors ... than he is for a renter or young family saving for their first home."

Mr Morrison says negative gearing was good for the rental market.

"The government isn't revisiting its position on negative gearing and the reason we're not is because ... the mum and dad investors who actually provide the capital for the nation's rental housing stock, if we were to withdraw that, then that has the only outcome of increasing rents," he told reporters in Canberra on Friday.

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