Just as the Greens have been saying all along, Labor’s announcement tonight shows that their plan was only ever just a gamble on the stock market which didn’t guarantee a single home would be built.
By amending their plan to guarantee a fixed annual spend, what the government is really admitting is that their gamble on the stock market was never guaranteed to fund any housing spending. With this amendment, years of poor stock market returns would mean the Fund’s $10 billion capital is reduced, leaving even less money to fund housing in future.
The government’s plan to legislate a fixed annual spend of $500 million, indexed from 2029-30, locks in six years of cuts to real funding and means no more than this fixed cap can be spent on social and affordable housing.
The government’s amendment will apply from 2045-25, meaning it is likely to be at least a year before the Fund is able to start funding or building any homes.
Despite significant compromises from the Greens, who told the Government that we would pass the Bill immediately if they guaranteed $2.5 billion per year in public and affordable housing funding and committed to negotiating a rent freeze through National Cabinet, Labor has failed to offer a single cent of additional guaranteed funding, or do anything for renters.
Line attributable to Max Chandler-Mather, Greens spokesperson for housing:
“The Greens have bent over backwards to reach a compromise, halving our initial demands for more spending on housing, yet Labor has done nothing more than partly close a loophole that could have seen no money spent on housing at all.
“The Greens want to negotiate, but Labor is refusing to shift on the two key demands we’ve made clear for the last eight months, more guaranteed money for public housing and a nationally coordinated freeze on rent increases.”
“What Labor is offering is a housing plan that won’t spend money until 2024/2025 then locks real term cuts for 6 years and does nothing for renters, when what we need is billions of dollars of investment in public and affordable housing immediately and an emergency freeze on rent increases.”
“When Labor can find $30 billion a year for the Stage 3 tax cuts, and $12 billion in tax concessions for property investors it beggars belief that all Labor can find for housing is $500 million in 12 months time.”
“The Greens have shifted substantially, we’ve said to the government that we’ll pass their bill in the coming sitting fortnight if they guarantee $2.5 billion right now in social and affordable housing, and commit $1 billion to incentivise states to freeze rent increases at National Cabinet.
“Labor’s current plan won’t build a single home until after the next election, it does nothing to address the current rental crisis, and even in the best case scenario, after Labor’s plan the shortage of affordable housing will be even worse.”
“Right now this country is on the precipice of a major social crisis. It is completely unacceptable that the Labor government is not taking up this opportunity to take real steps to tackle the housing crisis.”