Tag Archives: bad politics

Daily (Or When The Mood Takes Me) Gripe: Joe Hockey’s Baffled Aussies!

i was going to write on this myself, but it would appear someone else has written and excellent FB post on Treasurer Joe Hockey’s vaffling comments on how to get inti the Australian housing market last week. She saved me a lot of research. 

Good on you Mel Wilson. Straight for the jugular, and armed with the stats he should have had!

Here is her FB post.

Dear Mr Hockey, Victorian mother Mel Wilson has something she would like to say to you…
Earlier this week, Joe Hockey, North Sydney MP and Treasurer of Australia said, “The starting point for a first home buyer is to get a good job that pays good money.” He added, “If housing was unaffordable in Sydney, people wouldn’t be buying.”
Mel Wilson is a 28 year old single mother from Wodonga with two children (aged two and five) and two part-time jobs in human resources. In a Facebook post that has already been shared over 24,000 times, Mel has written an open letter to Mr Hockey, articulating the thoughts of seething Aussies everywhere.
The letter is too brilliant not to share, so here it is in full:
Dear Joe,
I just wanted to touch base with you regarding your comment that young people are able to enter the property market if they just “get a good job that pays good money.”
I just wanted to ask you how one might go about this?

Are you going to be reviewing all the current Awards that are in place to ensure that most jobs pay “good money”?
Are you going to be creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs that, under your Awards, pay over $100,000 per year?
Apologies if I have missed this fantastic news, but as someone working in 2 senior HR roles, I believe I would have known about this so that I could pass the message on to some very tired, over qualified employees who currently fall under various Federal and State awards and are being paid between $18 to $25 per hour.
Are you aware of what the average Australian wage is?
Are you aware of what the average Australian mortgage in Sydney is?
Are you aware of the first-home buyer process?

Just in case these facts and figures aren’t available to you, I thought you might be interested.
The average weekly wage according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics on 1st January 2015 was $1,128.70, or $58,692.40 before tax. This means a take home amount of about $904.00 per week.
The median house price in Sydney, according to the Domain Group Housing Price Report, as of March 2015, was $914,056.
Not sure if you know how first home buying works at the moment, but you normally need a deposit of about 20%. This is to pay for the Stamp Duty (which is a State Tax you must pay every time you buy a property), and also to assist in the approval process so that you don’t need to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance.
So in this instance, the first home buyer would need about $182,811.00 saved to purchase a house that is the average price in Sydney.
So to go out and get one of these “good jobs that pay good money” I assume these young people you speak of would need to go to university first.
On average, it takes about 3 -4 years to get a degree, so if a young person goes to University straight out of school, they can expect to finish their course and be ready for the workforce at about 21, with a HECS-HELP debt of over $20,000. To make this a bit easier for you to understand, let’s say there is a young person named Joe Junior who has done just this.
If Joe Junior is extremely lucky, and is up there with the best of the graduates from that course and that year, he will get a job straight out of University paying usually under the average wage.
However, lets just be extremely generous here and say that Joe Junior got a job and was on the national weekly take home wage of $904 per week.
Joe Junior needs to only save every single dollar worked for about 4 years to save his $182,811 deposit for their first home.
Thank you, Mr Hockey, for throwing in that $7,000 first home owner grant too – that meant Joe Junior could get into his first home 8 weeks earlier!
Just a quick side note, this example does not take into consideration the rising house prices, or Joe Junior’s HECS-HELP debt that he obtained from getting his degree to get one of your so-called “good jobs”.
Joe Junior is now 25 (not so junior anymore), has been living at home with his parents this entire time and has not been able to spend a single dollar on any bills, board or holidays or public transportation. He also can’t afford a car or petrol for a car but then again “poor people don’t drive cars”. Oh wait, Joe Junior isn’t a poor person – he has a “good job that pays good money.”
Luckily Joe Junior’s parents have been happy to drive their little Joe Junior to and from work every day and provide free housing, clothing, medical expenses and also provide the food for his breakfast, lunch and dinner each day.
So finally Joe Junior has saved his $182,811 deposit (of which only about half will go towards his mortgage due to the stamp duty cost), and can now purchase his first home, with a mortgage of about $822,650.00.
According to the Commonwealth Bank’s online mortgage estimator, the repayments for a mortgage of this amount are $1,073.00 per week over 30 years.
So hopefully Joe Junior’s average weekly wage of $904.00 has gone up enough to cover the cost of the mortgage.
Joe Junior has been applying for these “good jobs hat pay good money” that you speak of (I assume by “good money” you mean more than the average wage as you have just seen it is not even enough to cover the cost of the average house prices’ mortgage in Sydney), but hasn’t had any luck as yet. He needed to stay in the same job post university to demonstrate to the bank job stability so that he could purchase his first home. So he only has a degree, and experience in the one job, one industry, and there are just not that many jobs out there paying “good money.”
Joe Junior now also can’t wash his clothes, eat food, or get to and from work as he no longer lives with his parents, so getting one of these “good jobs” is even more difficult.
So Joe Senior, are you really aware of all the facts and figures when you says things like buying your first home is “readily affordable” to young people?
Just slightly confused as to what you were thinking when you said these words at the media conference in Sydney.
Looking forward to another one of your politically correct, direct and well thought out responses.
Another baffled Australian
Tim Alderman


Political Commentary: The Spill

I always try to keep politics out of my blog – considering religion and sex are there, a bit pointless really – but considering the current circus in both Stare and Federal politics in Australia, it is impossible to remain indifferent. Also, as a writer, it frustrates me to have articles in my head that are not being committed to hard-copy.

So a run-down on current events. The conservative right-wing LNP(Liberal National Party) have been ousted in both Victoria and Queensland recently, and are pretty well on the nose in other stares, and likely to be voted out at the next elections held. The Federal LNP government is in total disarray at the moment. It is a mess that is slowly being cleaned up, and the lessons learned are many!

Australia tends to be a bit of a laconic country, the people easy-going, not tending towards great political experiments, but rather politicians who will just do what they are supposed to do…run the country without corruption or ridicule, with fairness and equity for all. The era of “the fair go for all” is not over yet! In my own state of Queensland, this hope of fair, equitable government was destroyed by the recently ousted Newman government, headed by Premier Campbell “Can Do” Newman, who swept into power three years ago on a massive swing against the Labor government that effectively left us without an opposition party, opening the doors to excess and self-indulgent government in the LNP almost unparalleled. One of their first actions – granting themselves massive pay increases, while regaling us with tales of what an economic mess the state was in. This was followed up – not in order – by destroying both health and education systems, trying to force doctors onto contracts, the disassembling of sexual health clinics, disability services, cuts to arts funding, withdrawal of funding to support services, the instigation of new laws without consultation, the dismantling of the state corruption watchdog, increasing police powers, proposed legislation to allow mining near our protected Great Barrier Reef, proposed dredging in the reefs to allow ships to cross the reef, and the promised drop in our electricity bills that never happened etc etc.The list goes on and on! However, the sale (jokingly referred to as renting out) of our public assets was the straw that broke the camels back! The Premier himself was an arrogant, bullying man, full of his own self-importance. Three years was enough. We gave them a hammering two weeks ago that it will take them a long time to forget. His party not only lost power, he lost his own seat of Ashgrove. An instance if kharma at work! The second one-term government to be flushed down the toilet!

The political landscape has changed. Once upon a time we gave a governing party – irrespective of what doubts we may have had – two, even three, terms to get it right. Not any more! We are all so aware of the bullshit now, that all politicians are tarred with the same brush, they never keep their promises, and they are not to be trusted! But then, we have the two-party-preferred model here, and it is rapidly proving ineffective!

So the current circus with our Federal LNP government in Canberra comes as no shock to us! Also coming into power – by a VERY small majority – after a backlash against our Rudd/Guillard/Rudd Prime Ministerial fiasco (whereby our OM changed three times in six years due to party infighting and power-mongering, and as the result of some badly to instituted policies early on after their election, due to a rush to fulfill their electoral promises. Kevin Rudd himself, though popular, was a bad choice as PM, as he loved to micro-manage, and took more portfolios upon himself than he could manage. He also liked to spend a lot of time outside the country! Julia Guillard was a hard, pragmatic woman who stood up for herself against misogyny, and an unbreakable glass ceiling) has proven himself the class clown – though on an international stage! Being leader of the opposition for a long time, he has always been hungry for the position, and having been handed it on a silver platter, he is not willing to let it go. An ultra-conservative right-winger, a Roman Catholic, a climate change denier, anti-social justice, misogynist, a follower and idoliser of the philosophies of the (nut case) B.A. Santamaria, inept, stumbling and mumbling his Speedo-clad torso from one – embarrassing disaster to another on the world stage, disliked and alienated by other world leaders (who else could have a G20 Conference for world leaders in his own country, and in his opening address complain about local policy issues that are just that…local!) he has managed to lead his Cabinet (consisting of one woman, while making himself Minister For Women) and backbench almost back to the 1950s, an era he feels very comfortable in.

So far they have managed to disassemble our Carbon Tax policy (despite the fact it worked), our Mining Tax policy (pleasing no one except mining companies), we have no Minister for Science, no Minister for ageing or Disabilities. Funding has been slashed to the CSIRO (our internationally recognised science and research institute), our public broadcasters the ABC & SBS, funding to arts and cultural groups, medical and educational funding etc etc. in their first budget, they tried to dismantle Medicare (our “free” health care system that is actually funded through an income tax levy) by introducing a $7 GP co-payment, increasing costs of PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, which gives us subsidised medicines), decreasing pensions (thus leaving many in dire poverty), changing how Centrelink and the dole works, the proposed deregulation of university fees (opening the doors to students loading themselves with $100,000 degrees and huge, unpayable HECS debts), a Paid Parental Leave Scheme tagged as welfare for the wealthy, unsustainable child-care costs, the supposed Stop-the-Boats…Operation Sovereign Borders policies, which has seen us treat asylum seekers like third world “illegal immigrants” and again the list goes on and on. Most of this stupidity has been stopped by a strong opposition and cross-bench. Their pandering to mining and big business has been truly out of control! Of most recent repute are Abbott’s reintroduction of knighthoods (the cause of much hilarity online), and his ludicrous, humiliating granting of an Australian knighthood to Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh! Talk about breaking the camels back! In the face of a neverending string of farces that have reflected badly on all of us, there has finally been a backbench revolt. In recent polls, the Labor party lead (in two-party preferred) 57 to 43. As preferred PM, Bill Shorten (the Labor leader) leads by 44/27. This could not be worst for the LNP government, so a change of PM and Cabinet is strongly on the cards!

Though that it will make any difference in the polls…I doubt it! Even if he wins the spill, his name is still mud, and it is highly unlikely he will go into the next election as PM. And whether they like to admit it or not, they are highly likely to be our next one-term government. I have never seen a worst performing PM, or government, in all my 43 years as a voter! I have never seen Australia more abused or humiliated, our reputation for equality and fairness in tatters, our belief in looking after those less able – low-income, homeless, disabled, elderly, indigenous – badly eroded, our cost-of-living rising while all the time – 18-months into their election – the LNP still like to bleat on about it all being Labor’s fault, that the national deficit is all Labor’s fault despite the LNP having more than doubled it. There us one thing they have taught us for sure – when it comes to fixing budgets, you make the elderly, disabled and low-incomed pay your way out of it, as the upper and of town – banking, big corporations – and mining companies get richer and richer. A car industry…we no longer have one! Whatever they choose to do, it is never going to put money in my pocket!

So bring on the spill, though what we really need is not a change of PM, but a change of government!

Tim Alderman
(C) 2015