Who really uses negative gearing? Nurses, teachers, clerical staff

The Property Council of Australia refutes claims made today that average Australian workers are not the main beneficiaries of negative gearing.


The latest available data from the Australian Taxation Office is indisputable and it shows that some of Australia’s most valued, but lower paid workers are the primary beneficiaries of negative gearing.


This includes the 42,000 nurses, midwives and aged care workers, 62,000 teachers and child carers, 12,300 emergency service workers and 83,000 clerical staff, who all earned around or under $80,000 p.a. and negatively geared a property in the 2012 Financial Year.


It is misleading to claim that these people only earn under $80,000 p.a. because they substantially reduce their gross taxable income.


A detailed analysis of the ATO Tax Statistics shows, for example, that 8,885 registered nurses, 3,120 primary school teachers, 2,880 secondary school teachers, 3,350 education aides, and 2,945 child care workers all declared a net rental loss and had a taxable income of between $6,001 and $37,000 p.a.


Selected key professions from ATO Taxation Statistics 2011-12


(Taxable income less than $80,000 p.a.)

No. declaring a net rental loss
Emergency services workers 12,315
Teachers and child carers 61,500
Nurses, midwives and aged care workers 41,980
Cleaners and housekeepers 6,940
Clerical staff 83,280
Hospitality trades 21,555
Hairdressers 1,645
Sales assistants 46,450
Transport workers (truck, bus, rail and delivery drivers) 15,525
Tradies (carpenters, plumbers, garners, electricians, motor mechanics) 34,395


“The data clearly shows that negative gearing is something middle Australia uses to help build their household wealth, build for their future, and provide security for their families,” said Chief Executive Ken Morrison.


“Negative gearing provides an opportunity for average working Australians to save to get ahead.


“Demonising negative gearing, or disregarding its substantial benefits – in terms of household and retirement savings, stimulating housing supply and rental affordability – willfully disadvantages some of the hardest working, lowest paid people in the country.


“Negative gearing is predominantly used by young people and 91 per cent of people who declare a net rental loss own only one or two properties.


“These people aren’t the rich and famous, nor are they property barons, but they do deserve a fair go and that’s why negative gearing must remain.”