Restoring confidence in public statements by independently testing and verifying the facts
Do one in five police officers own investment properties?
By Tiffanie Turnbull, Brian Kelly and Louise Evans
“We know that one in five police officers have an investment property.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison. April 15, 2019.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says tens of thousands of hard-working Australians are helping to secure their futures by buying investment properties.
In an interview with Alan Jones on Radio 2GB, Mr Morrison claimed Labor’s negative gearing policy would hurt everyday Australians, specifically those in the police force, which was his father’s occupation. 
Labor has vowed to limit negative gearing to new homes from January 1, 2020. (Investments made before this will not be affected and will be fully grandfathered.) 
Mr Morrison told 2GB his father didn’t own an investment property, but claimed one in five police officers now do.
AAP FactCheck examined Mr Morrison’s claim and found it to be true.
The Police Federation of Australia (PFA) membership as of December 2018 was 63,105. Membership has grown from 60,871 members at the end of 2016 to 61,811 in December 2017. 
According to the Australian Tax Office’s most recent data from 2016-17, 60,349 police officers filed tax returns. Of those, 13,204 claimed negative gearing on investment properties, a percentage of 21.88 per cent. 
Negative gearing cannot be claimed unless a taxpayer owns an investment property, and submitting tax returns is compulsory. Negative gearing is the practice of investing borrowed money in such a way as to incur a loss that can be claimed as a tax deduction.
According to ATO data, Mr Morrison was conservative in his claim about one in five police owning an investment property.
- True - The checkable claims are all true.
1: ‘Labor maintains lead in first election poll but Scott Morrison more popular’ (6min 30sec). Alan Jones. Radio 2GB. April 15, 2019: https://www.2gb.com/labor-maintains-lead-in-first-election-poll-but-scott-morrison-more-popular/
2: ‘Positive plan to help housing affordability’: ALP Policy. https://www.alp.org.au/negativegearing
3: ‘About Us’. The Police Federation of Australia:http://pfa.org.au/about-us/
‘About Us’. The Police Federation of Australia. February 26, 2018: https://web.archive.org/web/20180226061248/http://pfa.org.au/about-us/
‘About Us’. The Police Federation of Australia. August 12, 2018: https://web.archive.org/web/20180812124655/http://pfa.org.au/about-us/
4: ‘Taxation Statistics 2016-17, Table 14: Individuals.’ Australian Tax Office (Filter table 14 by occupation - police. Compare the total number of police officers (column D), across all income brackets with the number of officers claiming a rent loss (column DA): https://data.gov.au/data/dataset/taxation-statistics-2016-17/resource/78951447-8044-43b1-a2a2-ebf0c96e16bc
- First published April 15, 2019 16:22 AEST