*What follows is an unedited, complete version of the minutes from last Tuesday’s Coalition cabinet meeting, as acquired by the satirist Ben Pobjie.

Minutes of Coalition Cabinet Meeting, 24/1/2017

Item one: Housing Affordability

  • The Prime Minister broached the subject by saying he wanted to make housing affordability a priority in 2017. The Prime Minister floated the first idea, suggesting that the government could assist first home-buyers by making each home’s second swimming pool tax-deductible. General agreement that this would be useful, but further suggestions called for to, in PM’s words, “placate The Guardian”.
  • Deputy PM Joyce took the floor to outline his idea for solving housing affordability, suggesting a lottery to select every fifth city-dweller to be compulsorily relocated to Tamworth.
  • Nervous looks exchanged between various Cabinet members. Prime Minister asked Deputy PM Joyce if he would mind removing his hat. Deputy PM Joyce replied that yes, he would mind.
  • Treasurer Morrison rose to relate his experience on his recent trip to Britain, undertaken to find solutions to housing affordability. The Treasurer passed around photos of Stonehenge and Big Ben, to general admiration.
  • Michael Sukkar, MP, announced that he had an idea, causing the PM to call security to remove the intruder. On being informed that Mr Sukkar was actually a member of the frontbench, Mr Turnbull allowed him to remain in the room, but was heard to mutter, “I am keeping my eye on you”.
  • After composing himself, Mr Sukkar explained his plan to address housing affordability by vandalising houses in the most expensive areas of capital cities, in order to reduce their value.
  • Assenting murmurs.
  • Deputy PM Joyce rose again to declare that the answer was agriculture. Foreign Minister Bishop enquired as to how this would work, upon which Mr Joyce became loud and aggressive and screamed that if everyone lived on a farm we’d have no problems.
  • An awkward silence ensued, broken by Treasurer Morrison putting on a slide show of his trip to the Tower of London.
  • Prime Minister Turnbull rose again to ask those assembled whether it would be feasible to create a pergola fund, to subsidise pergolas for those struggling with housing affordability. General agreement to form a working party on this.
  • Mr Sukkar rose again, causing Mr Turnbull to tackle him to the ground.
  • Deputy PM Joyce took advantage of the break in conversation to request support for his plan to improve housing affordability by increasing funding to the Golden Guitar Awards.
  • Treasurer Morrison paused in the middle of showing off his new Beefeater doll to raise the subject of negative gearing. He unveiled his new idea for “ultra-negative gearing”, whereby negative gearing would be expanded to allow investors to not only claim losses on investment properties against their income, but to deduct the total cost of properties, thus reducing their taxable income to zero and allowing them to claim Newstart at the same time, while also sending them small but thoughtful gifts from time to time. Treasurer Morrison explained that in this way, investors would be given an incentive to acquire so many properties that they wouldn’t need to charge so much for rent on each one, thereby allowing renters to save more of their income to buy houses in future themselves.
  • Assenting murmurs. Several high-fives offered to Mr Morrison to congratulate him on his logic.
  • Prime Minister Turnbull agreed that Treasurer Morrison’s plan was a good one, but asked whether “we could also bring in some kind of Emergency Assistance for Distressed Bankers”.
  • Assenting murmurs, before Deputy PM Joyce rose to demand the national capital be moved to Armidale, followed by a series of unintelligible noises. Treasurer Morrison attempted to calm the situation by handing out Union Jack keyrings. Michael Sukkar was taken away in handcuffs.
  • Meeting adjourned.


Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey