National Cabinet A Missed Opportunity For Australians Who Need Housing And Want To Work

Written by:
16 August 2023
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“Australians desperately looking to secure housing and to get into work will be bitterly disappointed by the missed opportunity of today’s National Cabinet meeting,” said Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.

IPA research, and the federal government’s own figures, show Australia faces a housing shortage of more than 252,000 houses over the next five years and the nation’s worker shortage remains at record highs, yet real solutions were not addressed at National Cabinet in Brisbane today.

“The cold hard reality is, on the federal government’s own figures, Australia faces a deficit of more than a quarter of a million homes over the next five years. The ‘performance fund’ announcement is the same old approach that has failed to deliver tangible housing in the past,” said Mr Wild.

“A key driver on the current pressure on Australia’s housing market is the federal government’s unplanned increase to the migration and international student intake, which has pushed rental prices to record highs and absorbed new housing stock, yet this key matter was ignored.”

“Migration has and will always continue to play an important role in our national story, but the federal government has committed to a dramatic ramping up of migration intake, without any plan for where new arrivals will live, and how vital services are going to cope with the influx.”

“Failing to address the federal government’s unplanned increases in the migration and international student intake, means our leaders are simply not interested in solving the here and now problems when it comes to housing.”

At present, Australia is currently experiencing an unprecedented worker shortage crisis, with over 431,000 job vacancies across the economy, and almost a quarter of Australian businesses reporting they cannot find the workers they need. This represents a 235 per cent increase in the last three years.

“IPA research has repeatedly found that removing tax and red tape barriers is an effective and low-cost solution to Australia’s worker shortage crisis that will allow willing pensioners, veterans, and students to get the work that best suits them. National Cabinet failed to even deal with this issue today,” said Mr Wild.

“It seems that our leaders are content to continue the short-sighted and lazy approach of plugging Australia’s worker shortage simply with more migration, rather than removing tax and red tape barriers to allow Australians, who are eager to work, to get back into the workforce.”

“Migration, workforce, and housing policy are at a historically low ebb. What Australia needs is a comprehensive response across all levels of government and, today, the National Cabinet comprehensively failed.”

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