Wednesday, 27 November 2019
Treasury Laws Amendment (Reducing Pressure on Housing Affordability Measures) Bill 2019, Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Fees Imposition Amendment (Near-new Dwelling Interests) Bill 2019; Second Reading
I rise to speak on the Treasury Laws Amendment (Reducing Pressure on Housing Affordability Measures) Bill 2019 and the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Fees Imposition Amendment (Near-new Dwelling Interests) Bill 2019. Young people are getting screwed. Nowhere is this more apparent than when it comes to housing. We are in a society now where, for young people, doing the right thing is no longer enough. You can go to school, to uni or to TAFE, you can finish your degrees and you can then graduate, go out and look for work and, under this government, find yourself facing a world of insecure unemployment and low wages. Then, when you try to find a house, not only may you well have a debt hanging around your neck as a result of having done the right thing and studied but you go out and look for a house and find that so many of them are out of reach, not only for buying but even for renting.
In my electorate of Melbourne, we're at the point now where most renting is severely unaffordable, even for an average student share house. There is no city in Australia where it is affordable to rent on Newstart, and many Australians are finding themselves under increasing housing stress. When it comes to buying a place, if you even think that you are on the ladder towards buying a place, you find yourself in a situation that previous generations have just not found themselves in. Go back a couple of decades and you will find that an average house cost about six times a young person's income upon graduating. Fast forward to now, and it's above 12 times. With low wages, high house prices and high levels of debt, people are finding themselves unable to put a roof over their heads. Why is it the case that having a roof over your head is no longer affordable? The biggest reason is that in this country we've stopped thinking about housing as a basic right that every citizen should have and started thinking about it more as an investment class to favour the very wealthy, with the government funnelling billions of dollars of tax subsidies into pushing up prices. As a result, if a young person goes to an auction now to try to buy a house—