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Malcolm Turnbull Joked That Young People Should Get Their Parents To “Shell Out” For Housing

Good one, mate.

The (unsurprising) news that the federal government would be opposing Labor’s proposed changes to negative gearing and the capital gains tax last week kicked off a huge discussion about housing affordability; one that will hopefully kick on right through to the election.

Waleed Aly accused the PM of avoiding the critical issue for political gain. Four Corners took an inside look at the investment culture which has benefitted older generations and established investors at everyone else’s expense. And now, all across this great land of ours, people under the age of 35 are poking their heads out of $450/week one-bedrooms with broken ceilings and hot water systems, with ears pricked up by the fact that home ownership was ever supposed to be an option at all.

Unfortunately this is a conversation that the government seems unwilling to genuinely take part in. This morning when Jon Faine raised the issue with the Prime Minister on ABC Radio, he shirked it off completely:

Faine: [Young people] are saying: ‘For goodness sake, you baby boomers want everything and you’re locking us out’.

Turnbull: Are your kids locked out of the housing market?

Faine: Yes.

Turnbull: Well you should shell out for them — you should support them, a wealthy man like you.

Faine: That’s what they say!

Turnbull: Well exactly. There you go — you’ve got the solution in your own hands.

Faine: [Laughing] That’s hardly national policy.

Turnbull: You can provide a bit of intergenerational equity in the Faine family.

This is obviously a bit of a joke. It comes towards the back-end of what’s ultimately a bit of an antagonistic interview and the Prime Minister is clearly a little tired and irate. But the ease with which he dismisses the concern of millions of young Australians (just hours before announcing a system which could potentially trash their financial situation further) is causing understandable backlash.

Accusations that Turnbull and other Liberal politicians are “out of touch” is far from being new. It’s the same response Tony Abbott received when he defended cuts to penalty rates, saying “if you don’t want to work on weekends, don’t”. It was basically Joe Hockey’s middle name as he matter-of-factly announced that poor people don’t really drive cars and “the starting point for a first home buyer is to get a good job that pays good money”.

But, just as in those cases, it shows a profound lack of empathy and understanding for the majority of people negatively affected by the policies the government creates. Jon Faine’s kids may well be able to score a loan. Plenty do! But, as usual, that pithy answer does nothing but insult those who had to work late weeknights and weekends to support themselves through uni, whose parents taught them the art of coasting down hills in neutral to save on petrol, and will never find a good job that pays good enough money to outbid a tax-break-scoring boomer with 18 investment properties who never even had a HECS debt.

*waves from centre of mob*

Feature image via Malcolm Turnbull/Facebook.