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Joe Hockey is Australia's Marie-Antoinette on Housing and Employment

Some recent comments reproduced here. Please contribute more. Joe Hockey seems like a nice guy, an intelligent guy, but he's just too rich to be really useful to anyone who isn't. He reminds me of Marie-Antoinette, a foreign princess who didn't want to try to understand the problems of the people and her husband. People look back and say, "How could she be so silly? Couldn't she see that the people were angry and desperate?" But, you know, she had other priorities.

Joe Hockey's insulting response to unaffordable housing

He declared that "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". The fact that wages are not keeping up with house prices is being ignored by this buffoon, and shows just how callous and out of touch our arrogant politicians really are!

Mr Hockey made the comment at media conference in Sydney where he was being asked about rising housing prices across the country, especially in Sydney and Melbourne. He denied that housing in Sydney had become unaffordable, particularly for new entrants into the property market. Just wonder how the normal people are actually able to communicate with our leaders, in their ivory towers of affluence. How many houses must our politicians have? They just watch their profits increasing, while the masses are struggling to meet mortgage payments, or are thrown onto the streets. Older people now are in danger of homelessness, due to pension cuts and soaring housing and costs of living.

The Treasurer said rising house prices were a good thing because they enabled owners to borrow against the equity to fund new spending. After decades of paying off a house, or even part of it, how are they to see it eaten away with reverse mortgages? Houses can't be used to pay water, Council rates, electricity and everyday expenses!

Joe Hockey's advice to first homebuyers - get a good job that pays good money (9/6/15) | SMH/the Age
Other stories : Joe Hockey pilloried for 'get a good job' remarks

(9/6/15) | SMH, [Joe Hockey's claimed] property crackdown 'won't hurt Australia' (9/6/15) | SBS

"Skating on thin ice"

Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott are skating on thin ice with their defence of stratospheric house prices especially in Sydney. Another Liberal politician, Craig Laundy has defended Joe Hockey's recent remarks on the subject and advised the public that now is a good time to get into the property market. What happens if someone takes on a mortgage which he can just afford and then interest rates rise and he can no longer cover the repayments? Does the government bear any of the responsibility? Abbott said that he wanted prices in Sydney to rise because he has a property there (mortgaged). He is far from disinterested. Hockey says housing is not unaffordable because people are buying but that the answer to the problem that apparently is not a problem is to "build, build, build". He must know that the problem is shortage of land , land land in relation to the huge numbers of people, people, people needing housing in the areas where people want to live. He knows that the average person can only buy where land is cheap or buy in more expensive areas but have little or no land. Members of the government are skating on thin ice because they appear to be interfering in the housing market. Isn't their dictum to let markets be free? They also appear to be giving advice and to have their own interests in the asset case in which they are giving advice to the public. What they need to do is take on the responsibility of a housing safety net. This means "public housing, public housing, public housing!"


If people with a "good job" do take the risk and dive in head first into the housing market, despite overblown prices, they could lose all if the housing bubble bursts! For most people, home ownership is the greatest economic investment, not only financially but one that determines their security and living standards, and family life.
The housing bubble that has finally burst in the US and in the UK could be upon us relatively soon if the results of the fifth annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey are anything to go by.
All markets in Australia were rated as “severely unaffordable” except Wagga Wagga in NSW, Bendigo and Ballarat in Victoria, which were named “seriously unaffordable.”
“In Australia, Canada and the United States, for example, home ownership rose from approximately 40 percent before World War II to 65 to 70 percent at its peak,” the study noted. Compare those days to today’s struggling home buyer who is expected to fork out about 8 times income for a basic abode compared to 2.5 times or less back then.
Demographia pdf
When it comes to servicing the first 12 months of a 25-year/80 per cent LVR mortgage, it will cost roughly 65 per cent to 70 per cent of household income to service that debt at current record-low mortgage rates. Melbourne is not too far behind. Even professionals would struggle to own a home!
Governments should be responsible for the welfare of the people, not extorting them for the benefits of a few! Our wealth is being drained from the pockets of normal people into the hands of the ever increasingly wealthy, due to neoliberal policies and pure greed. While the public's attention has been cleverly diverted to the "human rights" of access to gay "marriage", the real human right is to housing- something essential that everybody needs!

Michael Shand in reply to Stephen S Holden

I dreamed to live in a house in australia - but you are suggesting that this is bad and fundamentally sick must Australia be for the wish to live in a home is considered a dream

If food prices were an issue would you call eating a dream? Source: Comment on the Conversation at

Treasurer Joe Hockey confirmed two years ago in New York, in an interview with CNBC, that our large migration program is one of the key drivers of housing unaffordability. He told CNBC that “Australia is a long way from a housing bubble….The fact is we have a very generous immigration program and we have very slow supply coming in the market”.

This very "generous immigration program" is what's guaranteeing that demand for housing remains high, pushing up prices.

Housing is a necessity, like food, water, electricity and petrol. When utilities rise in price, along with costs of living, there is common commiseration about inflation, but when house prices rise, it's celebrated as being an essential component of our economy!

In our cities, population growth and insufficient new housing are pushing up rents. Property developers are given the green light to keep pushing heights upwards, and increase housing densities, to restrain urban sprawl. There's a frenzy to keep up housing supply, but the debate on affordable housing can't ignore the demand side that's manipulated by governments through their growth policies!

To report breaches in Australia's Foreign Investment Policy , phone 1800 050 377 or complete a Compliance Reporting Form available from the above number.

Thank you Sheila,

I'll put that in my phone. True patriotism isn't standing around draping yourself in a flag, yelling about how great 'straya' is. It is doing your duty as a citizen to safeguard this country and its workings for the well being of our nation.

Unfortunately, it is hard to prove when rules are broken, especially since there are many avenues to skirt them (such as using proxies in Australia to perform the transaction). But anyone who does know of any possible breach, has an obligation to report it.

It would be well worth publicising and submission to keep a public record, even just of the number of reports so we know how widespread the problem is when the FIRB decide to bury the issue.