House debates

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Questions without Notice

Housing Affordibality

2:42 pm

Photo of Wayne SwanWayne Swan (Lilley, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to his claim that households with mortgages are better off now than under Labor. Is the Prime Minister aware that official Reserve Bank figures show that, even prior to the rise today, the proportion of household disposable income consumed by mortgage interest repayments is 9.5 per cent compared to 6.1 per cent in 1989—that is, higher today than under Mr Keating? Prime Minister, are these figures accurate?

Photo of John HowardJohn Howard (Bennelong, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

The figures constantly used by the opposition are those which include all mortgage liabilities and are not restricted to homebuyers. They include people who have borrowed money on their existing homes to buy a second property and they include a lot of older people who, having paid off their homes, are remortgaging or repledging their homes under a mortgage arrangement to enable their children to buy homes. If the shadow Treasurer were a little more in touch with the changed practices of homeowners in this country over the last 11 years, he would understand that he is not making a valid comparison.