Jan 24, 2013

Labor has delivered for working families — if they have their own home

Labor has delivered a very positive economic environment for working families -- but only if they can afford their own home. It's a different experience for the renters and those trying to buy.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Listen to a Julia Gillard speech or a Wayne Swan answer in question time and chances are some variant of the phrase “managing the economy for working families” will get a run.


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7 thoughts on “Labor has delivered for working families — if they have their own home

  1. Ginas new vajazzle

    Geez, that reads like a real estate lobby spruik for housing mate.

    Housing affordability may have improved at the margins for people, but only at the margins. We are still asking FHBuyers in particular to take out circa 300K mortgages for ordinary accomodation a zillion miles from anywhere outside most capitals.

    ALP is unpopular because their improvements in housing affordability have taken second place supporting the Boomer investment property frenzy, and the general Boomer need to get a payoff for pension purposes, holding the non owning punters access to housing to ransom in order to get it.

    Whether the Government looks to boost Australias insane land supply (in the most sparsely populated nation going) or builds the houses themselves, or brings in land tax on unused housing/land, or whatever the current government has put in the short steps.

  2. Cyndi

    What Gina said. The only dent in housing affordability is the one in my (empty) wallet.

  3. zut alors

    ‘Labor has delivered a very positive economic environment for working families — but only if they can afford their own home.’

    This point is too general, many can’t afford their own home – but the banks can. Currently bank loans are at remarkably low interest rates. People who can afford their homes (ie: they own the property mortgage-free) are struggling to make a viable return on any cash deposits they may have.

  4. Zjonn

    Just how has Labor looked after workers? I was attempting to check out the wages that my nephew is entitled to as a qualified cook, or chef as these blokes like to describe themselves.
    What with Work Choices, Fair Work Australia’s user friendly web site, etc I would have thought it to be a breeze but I now know why so many workers are underpaid. It is impossible to work out with any confidence what anyone should be earning in any particular job.
    This is some of the information needed to be known which, at the end of the chase may end you up with the right information, than again it may not.
    What State or territory do you work in.
    From when do you want the pay rates.
    I am select (adult, junior, apprentice, trainee).
    What is your occupation. (Put in “chef” and you are given a number of choices many of which pertain to status but which are non-credentialed such as the terms Chef de partie, Commis-chef, Demi-chef,etc.
    Are you full time, part time or casual.
    Did your workplace employ staff before 27th of March 2006. For this one the answer must be yes or no, unless you do a company search I don’t know how you would find this out and even than you can only find out when the business was first registered, not when they first started employing people.
    This information should, but doesn’t necessarily indicate whether you are covered by a MA (Modern Award) or PMA, (Pre-Modern Award)
    This will lead you to a summary of three modern award from which to pick and the “Finder” will then prompt for you to proceed to Pre-Modern Awards which will give you several spread sheets to download from which you may be able to determine the PMA’s you may be covered under.
    If you can’t work it out from that they suggest their hot-line (13 1394) and this number’s waiting time starts off at 30 minutes (my recent experience for this exercise was somewhat longer.
    The thing is, the information given may or may not be right, they can’t even guarantee that the information given over the phone is actually correct because of the variables.
    The IR system as it is for a wage earner trying to work out what he should be being paid is a mess and a total disgrace. Labor should hang their collective heads in shame.

  5. Ralf Kluin

    Paul Keating once said, “We can only play a part in [the region] if we go to the world as one nation, as a nation united and not a nation in any way divided…” And John Howard once said, “National identity develops in an organic way over time. It may be changed by cataclysmic events like Gallipoli. But government and their social engineers should not try to manipulate it …” I think that Keating was deeply concerned with our sense of values as a nation of people sticking together. I think that John Howard was deeply concerned about questioning our sense of values as a nation of people, based upon times past. Will position our nation with new ideas as we debate our values going into the next federal election sometime in 2013? Is it all about people from other nations seeking asylum in ours? Or should we talk about values like equality, equality of opportunity and how we manage our environment, our water and air, the quality of our sense of place, caring for each other in sickness and building a secure place that every Australian can call home.

  6. Adam Smith

    The real problem an ALP government, representing mainly people who’ve only their labour to sell (people who do not control or own capital) revolves around intelligent economic forward planning policies. The way in which the ALP managed the GFC is a case in point. By carefully directing taxes toward public infrastructure building the many small business contractors were kept working. After all, the great majority of small business contractors are only really self employed workers with very limited personal capital often securing their liquid finance by mortgaging their homes. At the root of a market economy is the ability for an individual to sell their “educated” labour which is always an order-bestowing force. In my opinion, the ALP has historically been better at bestowing order in Australia when compared to the Liberal Coalition.

  7. Damien

    Zjonn – I agree. These guys are not the workers’ friends Bernard claims for them. The Government’s IR reforms, deliver for unions, rather than for unionists. The result is employers, particularly those employing kids on a casual basis can pretty much pay as they please and “catch me if you can”. The power structure of the IR system has not changed substantially from WorkChoices. Also, the working families slogan has a Thatcherite ring, doesn’t it? Just goes to show how far the centre if the the political spectrum has moved.

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