Nothing typifies the Liberal Party better than their attitude to housing.
Any attempt to address housing affordability is decried as an attack on the ubiquitous “mum & dad” investors.
In January last year, on the same day as Treasury and Reserve Bank officials voiced concerns about a bubble in Sydney’s “risky” and “over-heated” property market, Tony Abbott said “As someone who, along with the bank, owns a house in Sydney I do hope our housing prices are increasing.”
The Treasurer explained that “if housing were unaffordable in Sydney, no one would be buying it.”
The solution for first home buyers was obvious.
“The starting point for a first home buyer is to get a good job that pays good money. If you’ve got a good job and it pays good money and you have security in relation to that job, then you can go to the bank and you can borrow money and that’s readily affordable,” said Mr Hockey.
When Labor announced their policy on negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions, Turnbull and Morrison went into overdrive saying it would “smash the residential housing market”.
Turnbull warned that “every homeowner in Australia has a lot to fear from Bill Shorten”.
When asked by Jon Faine about the difficulty our children face in entering the housing market, Turnbull replied “Well, you should shell out for them. You should support them, a wealthy man like you,” suggesting the radio host could help to “provide a bit of intergenerational equity in the Faine family”.
When he was Social Services Minister, Scott Morrison addressed the IPA saying the lack of a secure home was either a “cause or consequence” of many social ills and is essential for protecting Australian’s welfare, especially those affected by unemployment and family breakdowns.
“There are few issues more important to ensuring the welfare of Australians than housing. Housing provides the stability and certainty needed for individuals and families to deal with the many challenges they face … a place to care for those who need care, a place of refuge from violence and the list goes on,” he said.
Yet buried in his first budget was the following:
The housing sub‑function includes the Australian Government’s contribution to the National Affordable Housing Specific Purpose Payment and associated National Partnerships, the provision of housing for the general public and people with special needs and the expenses of DHA. Expenses for this sub‑function are estimated to decrease by 20.9 per cent in real terms from 2016‑17 to 2019-20. This largely reflects the scheduled completion of National Partnership payments for remote Indigenous housing and a forecast reduction in the construction and acquisition of DHA properties in 2018‑19 and 2019‑20.
A West Australian community services organisation hosting a roundtable discussion about homelessness couldn’t even get a representative of the Liberal Party to turn up.
The organisation said it first reached out to Social Services Minister Christian Porter early in May, but he declined the invitation on May 24. Calls were then made to Senator Michaelia Cash, Member for Swan Steve Irons, Hasluck MP Ken Wyatt, and the Liberal candidate for Perth Jeremy Quinn, all of whom declined. Then they received a letter from WA Liberal state director Andrew Cox, which said the party would not be providing a representative for the discussion.
It seems people who can’t afford to rent or buy a home do not interest the Liberal Party. Unless you have money to invest, expect no help from a Coalition government.
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