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Article: Richlister Kevin Young aims to give property owners, renters a voice
    • 03 Oct, 2022

    Article: Richlister Kevin Young aims to give property owners, renters a voice

    The Courier Mail: Des Houghton

    Tired of seeing property owners and renters treated poorly by banks and governments, millionaire property king Kevin Young is fighting back by creating a new political party, writes Des Houghton.

    One of Queensland’s richest men will launch a new political party for property owners and renters who he says have been robbed and betrayed by banks and government.

    Kevin Young will use a $400,000 payout he received from the ABC in a defamation settlement to start the Property Owners and Renters Party. He plans to field candidates in federal, state and local council elections.

    “The new party was born out of frustration,” he said.

    Young, 75, said he was motivated by his disgust at the way banks and governments “milked” the property sector.

    Young, the founder of the Property Club, is a Gold Coast richlister once described as Australia’s No.1 property investor with a personal fortune close to $600m.

    He owns hundreds of properties after deciding at the age of eight he wanted to be a property millionaire. He “retired” at 27 after achieving his goal by working at three jobs at the same time.

    Young also accuses the state government of demonising property investors – the very group, he says, that can solve the housing affordability and rental crisis.

    “Property owners and renters do not have a voice,’’ he said. “We aim to give them one. Why not?”

    His aim is to control the balance of power in the state and federal parliaments.

    Young reserved special criticism for the Palaszczuk government’s “ludicrous” land tax laws, which were jettisoned yesterday.

    We spoke the day before the announcement and Young predicted the laws would be abolished because they would be a serious blow to working families struggling to put a roof over their heads.

    He also said it would have crippled the housing industry nationally if other states followed Queensland’s lead.

    Young hoped to draw support for his party from Property Club members.

    There are 70,000 of them and 20,000 were actively playing the property market on any given day. He said many Australians buying or renting property had little idea of the secretive taxes they paid.

    State and federal taxes and charges were a disincentive to investors to buy and renovate properties for the rental market, he said.

    As well, land taxes and sales taxes were stupidly inefficient ways of raising funds.

    Young said the shortage of rental accommodation and the housing affordability crisis was the result of incompetent political leadership and bank greed.

    The bank levy on investor loans was improper interference in the free market.

    Market forces could correct housing shortages speedily if governments and banks got out of the way, he said.

    Young said his new party would also campaign for the abolition of stamp duty as promised by the Howard government when it introduced the goods and services tax in 2000.

    Sales tax was phased out for banks, the financial industry and share traders because they mounted a united voice in opposition to it. The property industry must do the same, he said. All tiers of government use the property industry as a milch cow, he said.

    And he is right.

    “Since 2012, the income derived from GST has gone up 12 per cent,” Young said.

    “In the same period, the property industry has had to put up with a 42 per cent rise in fees, charges and taxes.”

    The increases were a massive disincentive for investors who could help ease the housing and rental crisis.

    Young said most would be shocked to know that 49 per cent of the cost of all new building work was made up of taxes and charges imposed by governments and councils.

    That was a national disgrace, he said.

    The Property Owners and Renters Party would target marginal seats and blue-collar fringe seats where battlers had suffered most in the latest cost-of-living squeeze.

    He said all major parties paid lip service to the accommodation needs of working families but failed to provide solutions.

    The private sector provided most of the housing. State governments contributed less than four per cent via public housing.

    And while the Queensland government failed lamentably to deliver housing it was now, ironically, reaping a windfall from extra stamp duty and land tax revenues flowing from higher house prices.

    Young successfully predicted the Premier would have to force state Treasurer Cameron Dick to abandon the new land law or face an electorate backlash from working families that would see her tossed from office.

    “Rentals below $600 have disappeared,” Young said.

    “It’s a direct result of deliberate and bad planning.’’

    He said the high cost of housing is fundamentally a result of the forces of supply and demand, and poor planning decisions by governments and councils.

    Young said he warned then-prime minister Scott Morrison twice in 2017 of the looming housing crisis because of negative gearing changes.

    But he refused to listen. “He was so arrogant,” he said.

    He said then-prime minister Paul Keating soon backflipped on negative gearing in 1985 when he saw the community outrage.

    Young said he also argued with Morrison about the new rules blocking investors from claiming legitimate expenses in conducting property inspections.

    The industry could come to the rescue of families if investors were offered incentives like those given to first-homebuyers. Young’s party will advocate for a first home investor’s grant similar to the first-homebuyers’ grant.

    Now Young is perturbed about speculation of changes to franking credit laws in Treasurer Jim Chalmers’ October 25 budget.

    Labor has taken fresh aim at dividend imputation credits, despite the controversial issue costing it the 2019 election.

    Speculation mounts that the government will draft legislation that retrospectively targets franking credits on special dividends paid out since December 2016.

    Two lawyers are well advanced drafting a constitution for the new party.

    Young got $400,000 from the ABC to settle a long-running defamation case following a critical story on 7.30 in August 2014.

    He alleged in the Federal Court the national broadcaster showed “reckless indifference to the truth” in a story that ran on 7.30 in 2014.

    ##Staring down death 16 times Kevin Young was born at Cowra in 1947 and nearly died at birth.

    He nearly died again as a toddler when he drank a silver cleaning fluid that burnt his throat and melted his windpipe and vocal cords. He still speaks with a slight rasp.

    “I was fighting for my life,” he said.

    “In fact, I’ve had 16 near-death experiences from car accidents, a racing car accident and plane accidents.

    “In 1968, I nearly drowned crossing a flooded causeway going from Woodridge to Slacks Creek.’’

    The electrician’s son began work as a clerk in the Department of Social Security and worked at nights on a milk run.

    “It was hard yakka getting up at three every morning,” he said.

    He worked on weekends. Young moved to Brisbane in the 1960s and worked for Peter Kurtz real estate. He went out on his own in 1969.

    “I bought and sold 646 properties very quickly and made a lot of money,” he said.

    “When I started (in property), I heard a real estate guy say every property doubled in value every 10 years.

    “It’s true. With inflation, that might be seven years these days.’’

    He said his proudest achievement was turning 31 ordinary people including “coppers, teachers and nurses” into millionaires by offering property investment advice.