MORE HOT AIR IN MYEFO BUT NO ACTION ON HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

19 Dec 2017

The 2017 MYEFO statement reveals the lack of Turnbull Government commitment and policy development in the housing and homelessness sector.

SENATOR THE HON DOUG CAMERON
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SKILLS, TAFE AND APPRENTICESHIPS
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES

MORE HOT AIR IN MYEFO BUT NO ACTION ON HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

The 2017 MYEFO statement reveals the lack of Turnbull Government commitment and policy development in the housing and homelessness sector.

It also exposes the government’s incapacity to reach an agreement with the states on a new National Housing and Homelessness Agreement, first announced in the May 2017 budget. This has resulted in a lack of certainty for non-government organisations and their employees who provide invaluable services to people experiencing homelessness, women facing family violence and the working poor across the country.

Providing funding to establish an affordable housing bond aggregator is welcome; however a bond aggregator in isolation will not address the funding gap that community housing providers face when seeking to provide homes for low income families, the working poor and Social Security recipients.

Disguising this problem under the lofty title of the “Affordable Housing Task Force” ignores the government’s lack of political and economic answers to the growing issues of inequality, housing affordability and homelessness.

The Turnbull government’s failure to address the need for reform of negative gearing and capital gains tax while proposing $65 billion of tax cuts to business, the banks and overseas corporations demonstrates how out of touch this government is.

The government’s incapacity to develop policy to assist hundreds of thousands of Australians in housing stress is a national disgrace. The Turnbull government is actively making matters worse with policies that contribute to wage stagnation, the housing affordability crisis and rising inequality.

The MYEFO statement was an opportunity for the government to match the $88 million promised by Labor for a Safe Housing Fund. This fund would increase transitional housing options for women and children escaping domestic and family violence, young people exiting out-of-home care and older women on low incomes at risk of homelessness.

Labor will provide the national leadership to deal with the housing crisis so clearly missing from the Turnbull government.

Labor will:

  1. Reform negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions, resulting in the construction of 55,000 new homes and a boost to employment by 25,000 new jobs per year.
  2. Limit direct borrowing by self-managed superannuation funds.
  3. Facilitate a COAG process to introduce a uniform vacant property tax across all major cities.
  4. Increase foreign investor fees and penalties.
  5. Establish a bond aggregator to increase investment in affordable housing.
  6. Boost homelessness support for vulnerable Australians.
  7. Get better results from the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement.
  8. Re-establish the National Housing Supply Council and reinstate a Minister for Housing

The Turnbull government’s fragmented, inconsistent and inadequate approach to housing and homelessness is exacerbating intergenerational inequality and failing to provide adequate, affordable housing for all Australians. Like the 2017 Budget, the 2017 MYEFO statement does nothing to change that.

TUESDAY, 19 DECEMBER 2017