Government talk won’t lower prices


A door visits a psychiatrist, lies on the couch. The psychiatrist gives the door the good news: ‘‘You’re not crazy, you’re just unhinged.’’ Doctors of economics watching the Coalition party-room brawl over the use of superannuation savings for home loans are concluding the door is unhinged and those inside are crazy. Yet rational responses to the housing affordability crisis are available to the hinged.

The government’s incoherent, contradictory response to the crisis emanates from its schizophrenic approach to the problem. In the Treasurer’s landmark housing policy speech of April 10, he mentioned affordability 47 times but also emphasised that reducing house prices ‘‘is not a good plan, and it is not the government’s plan’’.

In truth, the Treasurer wants house prices to continue rising, pointing out in the same speech that more than two- thirds of Australians live in owner- occupied homes. He simply wants to give young people the appearance of doing something about soaring house prices while running a scare campaign that Labor’s policies would cause a house-price crash.

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