A highly paid job is the first step to owning a home

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It’s no surprise to anyone that a “highly paid job” is the “first step” to owning your own home. That’s the ground breaking advice given by Victorian Federal Liberal MP Michael Sukkar in a statement about tackling the nation’s housing affordability problems.

Mr Sukkar’s comment echoes the highly-criticised advice of former treasurer Joe Hockey from June 2015, when he suggested Australians wanting to buy their first home should “get a good job that pays good money”.

Mr Sukkar, a former taxation lawyer and Assistant Minister to the Treasurer, is responsible for designing the Government’s policy on housing affordability. In a statement on Monday night, Mr Sukkar said the Government was doing what it could to help young people get their foot in the door of home ownership.

“We’re also enabling young people to get highly-paid jobs, which is the first step to buying a house.

“It’s not the only answer, but it’s the first step and I think this idea that we’re arguing for corporate tax cuts because somehow we love big corporates is absolutely ridiculous,” he said.

“We’re for corporate tax cuts because I want to see young people like me, leave university, I was a terrible university student but I left university because the economy was so good.

The newly-appointed Assistant Minister pointed to his own experience in purchasing property. As he mentioned, he currently has two mortgages: a “Canberra investment property” and another residence.

 “I got a great start and I was able to forge a career. But now if we don’t have that investment coming into our country those opportunities will dry up for really excellent young Australians,” he said.

Mr Sukkar said the Coalition had no plan to reduce the capital gains tax discount.

“If you cap negative gearing and you reduce the discount in the way Labor’s proposed, you suck investment out of residential property which means you make it harder for first-home buyers, more expensive for renters and you ultimately reduce jobs in residential construction,” Mr Sukkar said.

Labor MP Tim Watts has criticised Mr Sukkar’s comments, posting a comment on Twitter saying that the Coalition was “back to where Joe Hockey started on housing affordability”.

While the average wage in Australia is $78,832 per year, MPs such as Mr Sukkar are paid a base salary of $199,040 per year. He also receives the $273-per-day taxpayer-funded living allowance, and lives in a one-bedroom flat while attending Parliament. Mr Sukkar is among many Federal MPs using their top-up perks to assist paying off supplementary investment properties.

Read more at theaustralian.com.au

Read more at theage.com.au

Opinion: Are you sufficiently confused yet?

In December last year, the Government released its findings on a 20-month inquiry into housing affordability, and reported that there was no structural issue (pardon the pun) with housing affordability.

The finding stated: “The committee notes that rates of home ownership and investment in housing have remained broadly steady for many decades and that the current price cycle in the housing market across the nation overall is not inconsistent with historical trends.”

At the time, many people, including the Grattan Institute Chief Executive John Daley, criticised the findings, along with the Government’s failure to provide recommendations.

“They cannot be serious. It’s laughable. There’s clearly a housing affordability problem for younger households,” he said.

This report came just 18 months after Joe Hockey’s infamous 2015 comment: “get a good job that pays good money” if you want to buy a house.

At the time when Mr Hockey made this comment, Sydney was experiencing some of its worst housing affordability problems to date. Mr Hockey was criticised for being out of touch with regular Australians, particularly when he said that, “if housing were unaffordable in Sydney, no one would be buying it”.

Last year, the Government ruled that housing affordability was a non-issue. Now with Mr Sukkar’s comments, it seems housing affordability is a real issue again – at least in the country’s major cities. Why can’t the Government make up its mind long enough to formulate effective real policies that stick?

While writing this piece (at my job, which means I can write for living but not be a homeowner), it was challenging to find many concrete recommendations that Mr Sukkar had to put forward. However, he did make the vague suggestion that the Libs would “pull the levers” required “to increase supply and to put downward pressure on prices,” all while managing to make a well-timed dig at the Labor Party.

“Labor’s view is that you limit demand for housing, you ration housing; their negative gearing policy is that you ration housing like you rationed sugar in the Second World War. It is not going to work.

“Our approach, which is my instinctive approach, is you pull the levers you need to increase supply and to put downward pressure on prices.”

Mr Sukkar said he would reveal more about the government’s policies on housing affordability over the next few months – then had one final dig at the Opposition.

“And at the same time I will be seeking to highlight why Labor’s negative gearing policy­ will be ineffective in dealing with this issue,” he said.

In summary, what we have learned is that housing affordability is an issue (again), you’re going to need to cough up a lot of money to buy a house in the east coast capital cities, and Labor, apparently, is still the pits.

Tell us something that we don’t know, fellas.

Why won’t the Government stop seesawing on housing affordability and produce a solid policy? Does Mr Sukkar’s suggestion that prospective home owners get higher paying jobs reveal that he, like Joe Hockey, is out of touch with the average Australian? Should we even be encouraging private homeownership anymore, or is there another way to house people?

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Written by ameliath


Total Comments: 87
  1. 0

    Well that would be great if we could get a high paying job….but hey 59 yrs old .raised a family and looked after home now on New start…guess what no experience and in late 50’s , its hard to find a high paying job ….

    • 0

      or even a low paying job!

    • 0

      Typical comment from rich man’s government whose supporters have highly paid jobs. I remember Turnbull’s response to a question asked by an ordinary Australian about how to get a house. His response was “get rich parents”.
      Again this government has no interest in the plight of most of the country’s citizens and only has interest in giving more public money to the already well off. Never changes.

    • 0

      Well it did change there for a couple of decades MICK. Back during the 50s, 60s and into the 70s when productivity gains were shared up a bit more fairly between workers and owners.

      Top health and education provided by taxpayers helped whole families out of poverty into a home and the middle class.

      Taxes were reasonably high, business was booming, wages increasing and redistribution provided social justice for those in important but low paying jobs.

      The mantra was , we need you, we need lots of you but we can’t afford to pay you much so here is a hospital, public train service and a good public school to make up for that poor pay.

      And it worked. We were a wealthy Nation that owned out own infrastructure that made us money but more importantly provided jobs and taxes that kept the whole thing going well.

      Then the 80s rolled around. Greed was good. The world’s wealthy saw it was good and coveted it all. Now they have it all. Millions of highly skilled graduates have flooded in taking the best of the jobs.

      Pity about the nasty whiners in the high paying jobs who thought they shouldn’t have to pay the teachers, nurses, cleaners. Someone else should. They wanted the money all for themselves. Howard gave it back to them in tax cuts and tax rebates and tax shelters. Middle and Upper class welfare. They were the lifters see.

      Houses are far too expensive on a glut of debt that will unravel at some point. Jobs are hard to come by and still 200 000 flood in to compete.

      And our hospitals, schools and public transport systems are back in 1980 but our population is at 2050 levels.

      And almost everyone, including the government is either broke or living on debt.

      You can’t afford to work in those social service jobs any longer. They will never pay you enough for a house in the cities.

      You had better get a high paying job or make one for yourself because third world is coming to a group of people living near you and it’s coming closer year by year. The milk has been spilt and is rotting in a puddle.

      Time to clean it up and get saving.

  2. 0

    I guess you must have to possess no common sense to be elected to federal parliament. What a klutz! Pity the poor Victorians that this MP represents.

    • 0

      Makes you wonder who his constituents are? or what intellectual affliction they have to enable this muppet to get voted in.

    • 0

      Not only lacking common sense, but also a failed University student as the article notes!
      First, they should stop all foreigners investing in Australian property, especially the out-of-control Chinese.
      Second, stop excessive immigration through the back-door via Students and 457 visa workers finding pathways to becoming Residents.
      Third, stop use of Negative Gearing beyond the 1st property.
      The above 3 simple measures should fix the excessive Demand problem, then the Supply and Demand balance can work out more sensibly for pricing.
      Catch any Political party taking such simple actions!

  3. 0

    Had a high paying job, but silly me had children to raise, then got divorced and sold the house and then paid child support for 15 years. Could not afford to buy another house as the prices kept going up. Thanks for the advice tho.

    • 0

      Who would want to get married when 50% break up and the wife (if there are children) gets 66.6% of all assets, leaving the male to live in poverty for the rest of his life (unless he matches up with a new woman who received 66.6% in her divorce settlement)! Hanson wants to make pre-nuptial agreements prior to co-habitation a compulsory pre-requisite if divorce settlements are to be fair to both parties. Of course the female cry would be, “Oh, you don’t love me”. I know about a man who had significant assets and when he broached the subject of a pre-nuptial, the woman said, “Oh no, it’s 50/50”. His reply, “Yes you would receive 50% of my millions and I’d receive 50% of your nothing”. Sensibly, that potential domestic relationship ended the next day. Pre-nuptial agreements are mandatory in some European countries. I can’t think of anything worse than giving half (or more) of your hard-earned assets to someone you came to dislike. Particularly if a substantial amount of your assets were achieved prior to co-habitation. Clint Eastwood once joked in relation to marriage break-down: “It’s easier to just find someone you hate and buy her a house.” No wonder single person households is the fastest growing real estate demographic.

    • 0

      Instead of getting married, find someone you hate and give them your house. Same result in most cases.

  4. 0

    Mr Sukkar should be analysing the house purchasing prospects of the average worker in todays market in the various capitals. he should establish if an ‘average’ single person has enough income to provide the fundamentals of life and also purchase an average home in these centres. His analysis could then be extended to a working couple, a working couple with say 2 children and the accompanying costs of child minding. This analysis may demonstrate the current real world of life in Australia.

  5. 0

    The Labor policies would reduce house prices by making existing housing less attractive to investors while retaining the incentives for building new housing.
    However, as Dick Smith pointed out this morning, with around 200,000 legal immigrants arriving annually housing will continue to be in demand keeping prices high.
    Our roads will continue to get more choked and other infrastructure strained.
    IMO Australia needs to significantly lower the intake of immigrants if any of these problems are to be solved.

    • 0

      Why should that keep prices high? of course if you adopt the Gordon Gekko attitude that “Greed is Good “, well you will not be helping those that need it. if you want to sell a property be realistic, remember the real estate agent is thinking of his back pocket, not yours.

    • 0

      You hit the nail on the head! We urgently need to look at our migrant intake and population policy. Rampant growth, also called cancer, is unsustainable.

    • 0

      Franky, you are correct. 20 million Africans on their way to Western Europe in the next 3-5 years. Europe cannot cope with such an influx. Yes and as with our Government, the political elite will do nothing to stop it. The world is a complete mess, mass immigration will only bring civil unrest. But that’s is the aim of the Globalists such as Turnbull, Shorten and many others.

  6. 0

    Mr. Sukkar is obviously out of touch with the average Australian. It will hardly be surprising if we have a voter backlash as in the US, UK and parts of Europe.

    It is my understanding that Turnbull used to be against negative gearing.

    It is also my understanding that 2,000 people are trying to settle into Melbourne every week. This is unsustainable. Are we trying to compete for the worlds most unliveable city by creating disillusioned young people (where only investors can afford houses). Where violence, homelessness and congestion on the roads are considered the norm.

  7. 0

    Great comment Dave R now if this stupid federal government would take note the housing problem would disappear . But there is big money in population growth and this is all they care about , stuff Australia.

  8. 0

    is he not one of the people who made their living out of finding ways for the rich to avoid paying their share of tax and as he says he was a terrible uni student that should qualify him for a government position

  9. 0

    So we are supposed to believe that the LNP can manage an economy in a reasonable manner. This type of irrational statement by one member of the LNP which unfortunately is consistent with LNP policy just shows how far they are from reality. I’m sure the economy will be fine despite the efforts of the LNP to enable a small section of society to grab whatever they can (and I’m not referring to the less well off here)

  10. 0

    Easy. Just don’t buy a house in Sydney or one of the other hot spots.

    • 0

      Hi Old Geezer, that is the point working people cannot buy a house in Sydney or one of the hot spots.

      But, that is where the jobs are.

      Even the cost of housing far flung is very expensive. Still need two people working to pay for it. Travel is an option but adding several hours to the day who looks after the children.

      When we bought our house even with high interest rates they were in Sydney and a much smaller percentage of our income. Eh!!

    • 0

      Well OG I guess someone with a reasonable job in Sydney but the price of homes are outside his ability should move to Tamworth. (on the advice of another erstwhile politician) Then they could afford a house.

      I guess there are plenty of jobs there. No matter I noticed Tamworth has a small airport they could commute back to Sydney every day. Hard driving Tamworth’s a long way to Sydney.

      I guess we deserve the politicians we vote for.

    • 0

      I thought those on welfare could live anywhere.

    • 0

      Another think I fail to understand is that people commute to work every day to sit in front of a computer and then go home. Seems very silly to me when they could make one trip and take the computer home and work from there instead. You could live anywhere then.

    • 0

      Now what the hell has welfare got to do with it?

    • 0

      Gee! Are you on the turps early OG. To work from home when you are employed by a business is purely dependent upon the employer allowing this. Also a lot of jobs require accessing sensitive, privileged or private information. You wouldn’t want this wizzing around the internet at the peril of being hacked by hackers. Who incidentally probably do work from home.

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