Extract from an article by Michelle Grattan
The proposed housing affordability package in the May budget will target people relying on social housing as well as those trying to break into the market, Treasurer Scott Morrison has said.
Morrison said housing would be a very strong focus of the budget and he stressed the rental side.
“It won’t just deal with the challenges faced by first home-owners,” he said. “You have got to remember that over 30% of Australians actually live in homes that are rented, and when people are finding it hard to get into the housing market that puts a lot more pressure on the rental market.”
Noting that the number of people on low incomes in rental stress had gone up, Morrison said: “I am as much concerned about someone who is on a low income struggling with their rent as I am with someone who I know wants to get on the home-ownership market themselves. They are both important challenges for Australians.”
Morrison renewed his criticism of “one of the most disgraceful failures of public spending” – the National Affordable Housing Agreement. This was “a one-way cash ATM to the states which asks for nothing in return.
“We are handing over A$1.3 billion every year and the number of people on public housing waiting lists has gone up. The number of social housing dwellings which are owned by the state governments has gone down. We have basically shelled out billions and billions and billions for a program that isn’t achieving anything,” he told Sky. These were matters that would be addressed in the budget.
“We have to spend that money better. We don’t necessarily need to spend less on that. It is a very important issue,” he said…(continues)
SOURCE: Michelle Grattan, “Scott Morrison says budget will remember the renters”, The Conversation, 05 March 2017
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