Labor wants to scale back negative gearing concessions. But Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey told The Australian there was “no merit” to amending the rules on negative gearing for residential property because thousands of ordinary households rely on it.

Australian investors spent $6 billion on the property market in June, one of the largest monthly figures on record.

“Negative gearing is a way for people on medium incomes to get into the property market,” Hockey said. “Many hard-working Australians have invested money in real estate … to give themselves some financial security.”

More police officers use negative gearing than tax accountants and management consultants, according to the ATO statistics analysed by the Treasurer’s advisers.