ACOSS response to Treasurer’s advice for first home buyers

9 June 2015

ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said:

“The Treasurer’s comments are out of touch with the reality of every day families and individuals, who are doing their best at a time of rising unemployment and a slowing economy.”

“Not everyone has the luxury of simply switching to a better paying job. If only it was so easy. The reality is there are nearly 800,000 people who can’t get a job right now, with five people competing for every available job vacancy. Job opportunities are not opening up at the rate needed, and wages growth is almost flat.”

“Housing affordability is a critical issue affecting many people across the community. Young people and those on low incomes are being locked out of home ownership and the private rental market remains an expensive and insecure place to be.

“Home ownership rates have steeply declined for young people, with rates for those on low incomes falling fastest. While the proportion of investors has increased significantly, the proportion of first home buyers in the market has reached historically low levels. Meanwhile, 80% of those in the bottom 20% of incomes are experiencing housing stress in the private rental market.

“Instead of downplaying the issue, the government needs to develop a national housing strategy to address this worsening crisis. This will need to include measures to deliver new supply of affordable housing and to address current tax concessions that encourage individuals with high wealth to speculate in the housing market, and which keep first home buyers locked out.

“Unless we reform tax arrangements, such as negative gearing and capital gains discounts, we all continue to pay the high price for the special treatment of speculative investors in our housing system.”

Recent ACOSS Media Release

Community experts release national plan to tackle housing affordability crisis – 24 March 2015

Time to look at real solutions to Australia’s housing affordability crisis: ACOSS – 12 March 2015