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Transcript - Media conference on housing affordability

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 30 Apr 2015

Transcript - Housing Affordability 

The Greens have noted the release of the Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot, which paints a really grim picture of the catastrophically unaffordable state of housing for the nation's renters.

A third of Australian households are rental households, and many people, particularly young people, have given up on the thought of ever owning their own home.

This budget cycle, the government needs to reverse the half-billion dollars of thoughtless cuts that they made from housing and homelessness programs and I also think it is very counter-productive for Treasurer Joe Hockey to simply be ruling out any conversation or discussion about housing tax policy.

Negative gearing and capital gains tax exemptions in particular mostly flow to wealth householders. I think it's entirely inappropriate that people on low and middle incomes should be subsidising the investments of those who probably don't need taxpayers' help.

So I think the government needs to be open to these conversations if they're inviting the country into a discussion about sensible tax reform.

These options need to be on the table as well, otherwise we will be seeing future rental affordability snapshots that paint a picture that's equally grim.

Q: Is it particularly bad in your state?

In WA, what is highly significant is that the rental market has actually cooled off slightly, and yet when you look at the statistics, for people on any kind of government benefits or people on low incomes, there is categorically 0% affordable housing in the Perth metro area and in some south west and north west towns.

West Australians are very used to sky-rocketing property prices and I think people are a bit sick of seeing that painted in the newspapers as a good news story for property investors, when it's priced so many people out of the market. So WA has quite a grim story to tell, even though rents have come down, it's still severely unaffordable.


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