SENATOR KATY GALLAGHER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
SENATOR FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
- A TURNBULL GST NOT THE ANSWER FOR ADDRESSING HOUSING AFFORDABILITY -
Two reports released in the past two days paint a bleak picture for Australians wanting to buy a home or pay their rent and the Turnbull Government’s plan to increase the GST on the price of housing would hit those would can afford it the least.
According to yesterday’s Moody report, Sydney households spent an average of 39 per cent of their income on mortgage repayments, up from 36 per cent a year ago and the highest level since 2001. Homeowners in Melbourne spent an average of 32 per cent of their income on mortgage repayments, up from 29 per cent a year ago.
It’s clear that the great Australian dream of owning your own home is slipping out of reach for many Australian families with the owner-occupation rate dropping from 70 per cent to 65 per cent and declining.
Renters are also finding it tough, confirmed in the new rental affordability index, released by National Shelter, which shows that some Australians families are spending as much as 65 per cent of their income on their weekly rent.
The report reveals low income families on $500 a week in New South Wales would have to spend 65 per cent of their income to rent a property under current market conditions. In Queensland it’s 54 per cent, South Australia 59 per cent, in Western Australia 57 per cent and in Tasmania 54 per cent.
It is commonly accepted that those spending more than 30 per cent of their income on rent experience rental stress.
The Turnbull Government has been missing in action when it comes to housing affordability.
They didn’t have a housing policy at the last election, there is no housing policy in government, there is no minister for housing and there are no policy responses to the escalating affordability challenge affecting so many Australian households.
An increase in the GST to 15 per cent would put more pressure on housing affordability. It would hurt families struggling to pay their mortgage, it would stop people being able to afford to enter the housing market and it would force even more families into rental stress.
Malcolm Turnbull should rule out increasing the GST to 15 per cent on housing and instead focus on the way his government can help to address Australia’s housing affordability challenge and ease the financial pressures facing Australian households.
TUESDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2015