As anyone trying to get a toehold into Australia’s property market will tell you, prices are exploding everywhere led by record low interest rates, a total lack of properties and a number of government incentives that are falsely inflating the market.
It’s a scenario that’s made it particularly tough for first homebuyers and a problem that’s been largely ignored by our politicians – on both sides of the political divide.
Fortunately not so Labor politician Anika Wells who used a speech to the house of representatives on Friday to draw attention to the problem by comparing actual statements made by federal politicians to quotes from the satirical news site The Betoota Advocate.
Check out the member for Lilley’s attack below:
— Anika Wells MP (@AnikaWells) June 3, 2021
Wells began by repeating the statement: “Treasurer tells young first home buyers being crushed by an investor-driven housing market of his own making, to get a better job.”
An unnamed wag in the chamber yells back “Betoota“; however, the statement actually came from former Liberal treasurer Joe Hockey back in 2015.
Wells then asked: “Government asked youth to use their retirement savings to prop up the hyper-inflated property market.”
Success! It was a Betoota headline and, despite being satire, was actually a plan briefly floated by the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg that would let people dip into their superannuation to fund a deposit on a house. The idea was later canned after everyone realised it would send house prices spiralling higher and leave people facing potential poverty in their retirement.
Wells’ next clanger was this: “Deputy prime minister, who earns nine grand a week, tells casual baristas, who earn 20 bucks an hour, that going a week without pay isn’t a long time.”
No, not a Betoota prank, rather an actual statement by leader of the Nationals and deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, to Melburnians faced by a fourth lockdown and the end of Jobkeeper.
Wells finished her parliamentary quiz with one last question relating to furniture retailer Gerry Harvey – whose personal wealth is estimated at $2.8 billion – and whose Harvey Norman chain refused to repay Jobkeeper payments despite record profits during 2020.
“Millennials can’t afford a home after spending all their money bailing out Gerry Harvey,” she said. Yep, a Beetoota headline!
And it appears the problem’s not unique to Australia – soaring property prices, not idiot politicians, that is.
As reported on B&T a fortnight ago, a group in Toronto, Canada, is so furious at house costs in that city it started a crowdfunding effort to launch a a billboard campaign to protest house prices that, on average, have surged past $1.75 million Canadian dollars (or $A1.86 million). Check out B&T’s reporting here.
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