Category Archives: The Age

Real estate, banking lobbies selling the Liberals’ disastrous stamp duty cut policy in Fairfax

Oh, look. The apologists for the real estate industry and banking industry – the two industries* who’ve profited the most from ridiculously high house prices – are busy running interference for the Baillieu government as it prepares to enact a massive transfer of money from the public to the wealthy by cutting stamp duty:

MELBOURNE has received further confirmation it has the least affordable housing in Australia, with data showing it takes home owners on average almost 4½ months’ household income to pay stamp duty, easily the highest in the country.

Stamp duty is only a part of the cost of a house – it being high doesn’t “confirm” that our housing is “the least affordable” at all. Our housing is still more affordable than Sydney’s, for example, even with the greater stamp duty rate, making that sentence an utter lie.

House prices are a factor of what the banks will lend. Cutting stamp duty will simply result in the difference being bid up by buyers in competition – the extra cash will go to the vendor. Which will increase the amount of equity people who own houses have in their existing house, and thereby the amount that banks will lend them to buy an investment property. Thereby pushing up prices even higher.

Seriously, can anyone point me to a place where they’ve cut stamp duty and prices have actually gone down? No? Then why are we cutting government revenue, and the ability to pay for services like schools and hospitals, to transfer all that money from the public to the property speculators? Note: the Liberals have not yet revealed what they’re going to cut to pay for the massive drop in revenue.

Oh, and guess the source for this “story”:

A report released today by home lender Bankwest…

Isn’t it kind of the banks to benevolently and altruistically bring this self-interested one-sided report to our attention? I’m sure they’re genuinely dedicated to reducing the price of housing from which they’ve made so much money. Naturally what they want will be in all of our interests.

Seriously, the only people quoted or spoken to in Adam Carey’s report are the Bankwest analyst and a spokesman for the Liberal Party, who’s upset about the plight of those in our richest suburbs:

Some stood to pay well over half their annual household income on stamp duty. The highest stamp duty bills in Melbourne are in Stonnington (71 per cent), Port Phillip (63 per cent) and Boroondara (63 per cent). A spokesman for the Baillieu government said the figures underlined the need for urgent measures to reduce the stamp duty burden.

Well, if the wealthy are paying more tax because they can charge more for the assets they own, then of course that’s a high priority for the new Liberal government. IT MUST BE STOPPED.

Has anyone seen some balance from The Age on this issue? Obviously Fairfax derives a lot of its income from the real estate industry, but it has pretensions of being more than just their mouthpiece, doesn’t it?

*I should put the word “industry” in quotes; bankers and real estate agents are not parts of the economy that actually create things – they’re parasites who take an ever-growing cut from the rest of us.

Ooh, that’d be interesting, wouldn’t it – if the real estate agents, who like governments also take a percentage on each house sale and who’ve also been doing very well out of the “boom”, were calling for themselves to also lower their percentage take in consideration of the price inflation. Surprisingly enough I haven’t heard such a call. Have you?

ELSEWHERE: Joe Hockey and the Liberals return to type, defending the interests of the banking industry cartel against consumers.