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John Passant

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June 2015



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Public housing anyone?

The catch cry of every reactionary used to be ‘get a job’. With housing prices in Sydney continuing to increase at stellar rates (12.4% last year and 3% this first quarter) Treasurer Joe Hockey has upped that to get a GOOD job that pays good money to be able to buy a house there. So all you homeless people, or renters, or  low paid or middle income earners, resign your jobs right now and get a well paid one.

With official unemployment rising to 6.2% in April (and real unemployment according to Roy Morgan in May 2015 at greater than 10% with 8% wanting more work) there are [sarcasm alert] obviously plenty of well paid jobs around.


If Hockey is any guide you don’t need any skills to get a job paying more than $400,000 a year, including an allowance of $270 a night to stay in Canberra. Hockey pays that allowance to his wife because he rents the house from her. By mid 2014 he had claimed over $108,000 over the previous four years.

Not to put too fine a point on it, with Hockey showing us how, all you need to be to get a job paying more than $400,000 a year is rich and an idiot.

I reckon if I was paid a housing allowance of $270 a night like Hockey, on top of an average wage of $78,000 I might be able to buy a property in outer Sydney.


Of course Hockey is out of touch, just like the rest of the rule for the rich Liberals. On top of that, Hockey is one of the richest Treasurers we have ever had. Political and economic divorce from ordinary people is a deadly quinella.

It seems that almost every time he opens his mouth Hockey displays his contempt for ordinary people. It flows from his position, his background, his politics. Remember, this is the Treasurer who also said poor people don’t drive cars. Or  GP co-payment of $7 was only 2 small beers.

So instead of workers getting these better paid jobs that don’t exist, is there an alternative that provides people with affordable housing?

The market in Sydney and to some extent Melbourne is pricing people out.  Partly that is because negative gearing and the capital gains 50% concession are rewarding rich and well off people who invest in already established housing. They don’t create new housing; they drive up the price of existing housing.

Obviously part of any solution would be to abolish negative gearing and remove the CGT concession. However there is no guarantee that the market will build more houses to meet demand.

Maybe the time has come to begin building public housing that meets the needs of low and average wage workers.  That would require a state program of many billions of dollars to begin a life long building program.  The rich suburbs where Abbott and Hockey live would be good places to begin building them. Milsons Point too.

Where is the money coming from the reactions scream? Tax the rich to pay for adequate and affordable public housing.

I am not alone. The Per Capita think tank has just released its 2015 tax survey. Unsurprisingly respondents want more spending on public services like health and education and are willing to pay more tax for such improved services and transport. They also want the rich and big business taxed more.

Instead of fantasies about getting well paid jobs (which is just code for ‘only the rich can afford to live here’) tax the rich and big business to build affordable public housing for the people.

Another article will address the purchasing side. People already in good but not well paid jobs (e.g nurses, teachers, social workers, child care workers, cleaners, basically anyone on a salary below about $100,000 – the average wage plus 25%) can get the wherewithal to afford an appropriate place to live.



Comment from Ross
Time June 10, 2015 at 7:57 pm

Inflating the housing bubble is now the major way they get new money into our economy to keep the wheels turning. China is stalling and is finding cheaper suppliers, so the tax revenue is also falling.

We all know bubbles burst and Hockey couldn’t give a rats.

We have an economy based whimsical services and consumerism with little real productivity. Soon there will be lots of houses on the market but few buyers.

Comment from Jacks
Time June 11, 2015 at 1:28 pm

And, of course, “get a job” used to be and still sometimes is yelled out by construction workers when a demonstration of students passes by in the city!

On a more serious note, how can we agitate for more public housing? It seems to be something people don’t think about – except usually with derision…
But it’s crucial and should be expanded

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