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Liberal MP backs rural tax relief

Jordan Murry | Business News

17/02/2022

A Brendon Grylls-chaired campaign to improve regional housing affordability through an increase in fringe benefit tax concessions has received backing from a first-term government Senator.

The campaign, dubbed ‘More than Mining’, has been active since September, and has sought to allow employees living in regional or rural communities to use entirely pre-tax dollars to buy or rent a property.

Under current ATO guidelines, employees living in defined remote areas can qualify for limited housing fringe benefits and other tax concessions.

Efforts to increase in tax concessions for housing come as residents in regional communities have confronted rising house prices in the past 18 months coinciding with a surge in activity in the mining sector.

Matt O’Sullivan, a former executive at Minderoo Foundation’s Generation One initiative who was elected to the Senate in 2019, called the idea an innovative way to address housing affordability.

“These regional communities want their voices heard,” he said.

“Their residents are being crippled by housing costs.

“And this time they aren’t coming to the government with problems; there is a robust, well developed, novel proposal
on the table.