By Janine Perrett

Alright - now it is time to really despair for this excuse for a government.

The news they have completely ruled out changes to negative gearing show what a craven, cowardly, weak, and lily-livered...oh I could go on.

Even when much of the rest of the media, the business community and even my dog Chester had written off the Turnbull Government over tax reform, I argued they were all over-reacting.

Sure a GST hike was off the table, but it was only ever an option; and an overly ambitious one at that. Until only a few months ago, the convention wisdom was you would never get all the states to agree to an increase much less the electorae wear a 50 percent hike.

Some of us actually heard the NZ PM's advice to our PM at a business lunch recently that you don't need "big bang" tax reform to do some good.

"Just tinkering" sniggered the macho critics, while some of us pointed out that there were plenty of areas that required reform from superannuation concessions to negative gearing and capital gains tax.

Until very recently these changes had been privately considered by all sides of politics.

In his best, or worst, Tony Abbott impersonation, Malcolm Turnbull has not only done what his predecessor did in ruling everything out and being left with nothing, but also running a scare campaign because the other side had the balls to tackle something.

Worse still the backdown on any semblance of tightening of negative gearing rules comes after, once again, they had let the story run that they were actually going to consider doing something.

But then another leaked report of economic modelling and that too is in the too hard basket.

And yet another appalling media performance by the Treasurer Scott Morrison this morning on ABC radio, in his usual antagonistic, overly partisan, simplistic style.

Obviously the terror tactics of the Property Council of Australia, complete with advertisements to bludgeon the bedwetting backbenchers also took their toll. The Property Council of Australia obviously learnt from the Mining Council and the Abbott Government how to kill a good idea before it even gets debated.

Those same pundits have been saying that time is running out for the Turnbull Government on tax reform. For me, if this mornings reports are true, then it already has.

No wonder the business community is despairing. We should be too.