ACT Independent Senator David Pocock has today joined crossbench colleagues in calling on the Albanese Government to introduce two tax changes that would accelerate the electrification of rental properties across Australia.
“A growing number of Australians are renting and renting for longer, yet in the midst of the most acute cost of living crisis in decades they’re far more likely to miss out on household budget savings that come with electrification,” Senator Pocock said.
“At the moment there is little financial incentive for landlords to install the appliances that would save renters money every single month. The government risks leaving renters behind by failing to give them a fair go on energy cost savings.
“With a couple of targeted tax changes, the government can permanently ease energy bills for potentially millions of Australians at very little cost to the taxpayer.”
The proposed policy changes are:
A tax incentive for landlords that allows landlords to instantly write-off the cost of replacing gas appliances with more efficient electrical alternatives.
- A tax simplification to make it easier for people in apartments to access rooftop solar.
According to PBO costings the new instant asset write-off would changes would:
- see people who rent benefit from a 23% shift from gas to electric appliances
- result in 10,000 additional hot water heat-pumps, induction cooktops, and energy-efficient reverse cycle space heating being installed each year.
- reduce energy bills by between $514 and $1,594 each year (when the above upgrades are combined)
- save the average landlord $422 over five years when buying a heat pump, $189 on an induction cooktop, and $293-$1,422 on energy-efficient reverse-cycle space heating
It is proposed that the new instant asset write-off would be available for a limited time while awaiting the introduction of strong minimum energy performance standards for rental properties and the mandatory disclosure of energy costs.
The second proposed policy change, tax simplification, would simplify tax rules so that body corporates pay tax on the income generated when solar is exported to the grid. Participants in an owners’ corporation would no longer have to do so on their individual returns. PBO analysis shows this simplification would be at next to no cost to the taxpayer.
Almost one-third of Australians currently rent. The PBO costing shows the combined cost of the two policy changes is less than $200 million over the forward estimates.
Signatories to the letter organised by the Member for Wentworth, Allegra Spender include Kate Chaney MP, Member for Curtin, Zoe Daniel MP, Member for Goldstein, Dr Helen Haines MP, Member for Indi, Dai Le MP, Member for Fowler, Dr Monique Ryan MP, Member for Kooyong, Dr Sophie Scamps MP, Member for Mackellar, Zali Steggall OAM MP, Member for Warringah, and Kylea Tink MP, Member for North Sydney.