With a new analysis of ATO tax data has revealed that almost 840,000 Australians with incomes up to $80,000 a year are using negative gearing as a way to build long-term financial security especially through property investment.

This number includes 53,800 teachers, 52,000 retail workers, 35,900 nurses and midwives, 22,600 hospitality workers and 10,400 emergency services workers.

In a recent radio interview acting treasurer, Scott Morrison said, “Negative gearing has been and continues to be a real opportunity for middle income earning Australians”.

Chief executive of the Property Council Ken Morrison, has warned that changes to negative gearing risks interrupting the property investment pipeline which is one of the key drivers to the Australian economy.

“A typical house construction involves up to 40 trades and sub trades. One third of all new dwelling construction is financed by investors each year.

“In the last year we’ve seen housing commencements reach 215,000 nationwide, up 11 per cent for the year. It is a reminder of how the property industry is underpinning the national economy as it transitions from the mining boom.”

With the property investment pipeline underpinned by negative gearing it’s helping Australia address the undersupply of housing, said Mr Morrison.

“To hamper negative gearing is to hamper investment. If you slow investment, it will cost the economy and it will interrupt the progress we have made addressing Australia’s undersupply of housing.”

The Federal Government is expected to make a decision on possible changes to negative gearing in the lead-up to the Federal Budget in May.