The Albanese government will forgo $38.9 billion in tax revenue in property tax concessions next financial year, costings requested by the Greens show.
The costings, released on Thursday, represent another political maneuver in the stalemate between Labor and the Greens over the government's housing fund, with the minor party trying to shame the government into spending more than its proposed $500 million a year on social and affordable properties.
The Parliamentary Budget Office modelling found the government would forgo $37.5 billion in property tax deductions, and $1.5 billion through the Capital Gains Tax discount in 2023-24, in data requested by Greens leader Adam Bandt in June.
Greens housing spokesperson Max Chandler-Mather called the billions in property tax concessions "morally reprehensible".
"It is an indictment on Labor's priorities that they think that $39 billion on tax breaks for property investors is a reasonable investment, but $2.5 billion for public and affordable housing and $1 billion for a rent freeze is somehow an unaffordable extravagance," he said in a statement.
The Greens have not proposed abolishing the concessions, but instead said the figure shows "the asymmetry between Labor's small contribution towards housing, and their support for property investors".
Housing fund would have 'significant impact' in ACT
The Housing Australia Future Fund has quickly risen to the top of the political agenda in the first sitting fortnight since a winter break, though the Greens and Labor remain deadlocked in negotiations over the package.
ACT Shelter CEO, Travis Gilbert, is urging the parties to pass the bill, which he says would have a "significant impact" on the 3020 people and families currently on the waitlist for social and affordable housing in the territory.
The $10 billion housing fund would guarantee annual investments of $500 million into social and affordable housing, and deliver 30,000 homes in its first five years.
At least 1200 properties would be built in the ACT, providing "enough units of housing to house a third of a people on the waiting list right now," Mr Gilbert said.
But the Greens say their support hinges on incentives for national rent freezes and caps, and additional direct investments in social and affordable housing.
'Battle for ... inner-city seats' continues
Housing Minister Julie Collins on Wednesday reintroduced the bill in the lower house, after it was blocked by the Coalition and the Greens in the Senate earlier in the year.
The government needs the support of the Greens to pass the legislation in the Senate. If it fails to pass a second time, the Prime Minister could treat it as a double dissolution trigger.
Mr Gilbert said it was "a little bit sad that two parties that are absolutely acutely aware of the problem can't negotiate a compromise between the two positions".
He accused Labor and the Greens of being "in a pinched battle for the votes of renters in inner-city seats".
"And so from our perspective, we're just really concerned that there are projects right now in the ACT and in other states that money could be financing or assisting to finance that are now on hold ... " he said.
Are the parties still negotiating?
Conflicting narratives about whether the parties were restarting negotiations have swirled Parliament this week, after Mr Chandler-Mather said the Greens had reached out to Labor for a meeting but that the "ball is in the government's court".
By Wednesday it was understood the government had agreed to meet with the Greens over the HAFF.
But on Thursday morning, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese called out the party on ABC Radio National when asked whether his government was willing to negotiate.
"This has been one of their nonsenses, [that] negotiations are due to resume this week ... I talked to Adam Bandt on the weekend," Mr Albanese told listeners.
Mr Chandler-Mather dodged questions over the Prime Minister's remark that afternoon, simply stating that negotiations were ongoing.