The new rates regime

Sebastian Fernandez 19 June 2014 69
household-rates

I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but I have to again raise that I’m extremely worried about the direction this city is heading in re household rates.

I’m a homeowner and I intend to stay in my house for a long time.

I understand that on average, Canberra homeowners move every 7 years, but I intend to be well above that average.

Those of us who do stay in a home for 10, 15 or 20 years will end up paying more than we did under the old system. We won’t benefit from the saving of the reduction in stamp duty.

I know this hasn’t been in the news cycle of late, but I think it should be.

We’re setting up Canberra to be one of the most expensive places in which to live in the entire country, if it isn’t already. Sure, you won’t have to pay that dastardly stamp duty when you buy a house, but if you’re got to pay 10K in rates every year, what’s the diff.

I still can’t believe that Andrew Barr’s only answer to this when questioned in a some Legislative Assembly committee, his only answer was get a higher paid job, or negotiate for more pay.

What planet are these people from.

I’m not a huge fan of Jeremy Hanson, or for that matter Zed Seselja, but I have to concur with their assertion that our rates will triple in around a decade. Where do you think rents will go ? In a city which is already way to expensive to rent in, it’ll just get worse.

How sad if we have hundreds of Canberrans who make the call to move out of town because they can’t afford to pay the rates.

I guess the big question is, could the Libs wind this all back should be elected, given that they’re going to be so busy ripping light rail out of the ground ?

 


What's Your Opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
69 Responses to The new rates regime
Filter
Order
rosscoact rosscoact 5:59 am 12 Feb 15

HiddenDragon said :

davo101 said :

HiddenDragon said :

My understanding is that FHOGs – in some shape or form, and with varying values in real terms – have been around for a long time, so there would surely be plenty of older people who would have received such assistance, not just the current generation of first home buyers.

Wow, I must be getting old when 1 July 2000 was a “generation” ago.

In reviving this thread re the South Australian proposal, I noticed the preceding observation about first home owner grants (and suchlike).

As I suggested in my earlier comment, such assistance has been around for a long time – in fact 1964 (not 2000):

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=gIAm0Ylz9bQC&pg=PA464#v=onepage&q&f=false

Yeah, I got one in 1985 when I bought my first house. As I was newly married and now have a grandchild, that was by definition, two generations ago.

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 8:42 pm 11 Feb 15

davo101 said :

HiddenDragon said :

My understanding is that FHOGs – in some shape or form, and with varying values in real terms – have been around for a long time, so there would surely be plenty of older people who would have received such assistance, not just the current generation of first home buyers.

Wow, I must be getting old when 1 July 2000 was a “generation” ago.

In reviving this thread re the South Australian proposal, I noticed the preceding observation about first home owner grants (and suchlike).

As I suggested in my earlier comment, such assistance has been around for a long time – in fact 1964 (not 2000):

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=gIAm0Ylz9bQC&pg=PA464#v=onepage&q&f=false

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 8:20 pm 11 Feb 15

And another cash-strapped jurisdiction miraculously discovers compelling arguments in favour of land tax for all:

http://yoursay.sa.gov.au/yoursay/tax-review-in-south-australia

If this goes ahead (as if it won’t) Canberra may need to get another airborne whale to lure back all those smart investors and entrepeneurs looking for the very best place in Australia to put their money.

davo101 davo101 9:26 am 25 Jun 14

rommeldog56 said :

Or is the intent to unilaterally force the elderly, sick, disabled, old, etc out of their homes ? Sounds like that would be an eventual outcome.

If you are a pensioner or suffering hardship there are a number of options for assistance.

rommeldog56 rommeldog56 10:41 pm 24 Jun 14

Dondon said :

rigseismic67 said :

Has anyone factored the rate rise to increased rental costs? I for one will be putting up the rent to cover these costs

I would say good luck with that at the moment. From what I have seen a lot of rentals have lowered their asking prices.

Would be interesting to see the ACT Gov’ts “modelling” on that – if any.

I would think that there is a possibility that investors, if they can not pass it onto renters, might start to divest their properties. Also, the Annual Rates increases everywhere, including the artificially higher ACT ones, would be claimable as a taxation deduction paid for by the Fed’s / rest of Australia’s taxpayers !

Apart from the impact on self funded retirees (and, given some of what I would regard as the callous and uncaring attitudes shown by some to those in this thread) – and I really dunno why anyone would want to be a self funded retiree these days – what about the impact of the Annual Rates rise regime on Pensioners ?

I think (and correct me if Im wrong) that Centrelink beneficiaries/age and disabled pensioners get a 50% discount on their annual Rates in the ACT ? So, if those rates are currently, say $1,500pa, thats $750pa in Annual Rates to the ACT Gov’t.

But what if Annual Rates are $4K pa in a few years, for arguments sake. Can those people afford $2K pa in Annual Rates ? Does that mean that along with ramping up annual Rates each year, that the ACT Gov’t will also have to proportionally increase that discount – maybe to say, 85% ? Or is the intent to unilaterally force the elderly, sick, disabled, old, etc out of their homes ? Sounds like that would be an eventual outcome. I would like to see that “economic” and social modelling too – if any. It must have been considered ?

Dondon Dondon 8:37 pm 24 Jun 14

rigseismic67 said :

Has anyone factored the rate rise to increased rental costs? I for one will be putting up the rent to cover these costs

I would say good luck with that at the moment. From what I have seen a lot of rentals have lowered their asking prices.

banco banco 6:47 pm 24 Jun 14

rigseismic67 said :

Has anyone factored the rate rise to increased rental costs? I for one will be putting up the rent to cover these costs

Well you can try but just as likely the price of your investment property will fall slightly to reflect that the carrying costs of the asset have gone up.

davo101 davo101 5:58 pm 24 Jun 14

HiddenDragon said :

My understanding is that FHOGs – in some shape or form, and with varying values in real terms – have been around for a long time, so there would surely be plenty of older people who would have received such assistance, not just the current generation of first home buyers.

Wow, I must be getting old when 1 July 2000 was a “generation” ago.

rigseismic67 rigseismic67 5:54 pm 24 Jun 14

Has anyone factored the rate rise to increased rental costs? I for one will be putting up the rent to cover these costs

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 5:22 pm 24 Jun 14

Maya123 said :

HiddenDragon said :

aussieboy said :

Abolishing stamp duty is very good policy.

You should not be rewarded for staying in the same house for 20 years – if anything you should be punished. There are far too many retired couples living in 4-5 bedroom houses in Canberra’s inner suburbs. Meanwhile, young families are pushed into the abysses of Tuggeranong and Gunghalin where facilities/services are lacking.

If retirees can’t afford the new rates, they should move into a smaller place.

In the long term, this won’t be an issue – basic economics suggests that house prices will fall to compensate for the PV of increased rates – people will just need to factor rate costs into their affordability calculations.

This policy isn’t going to make things any better for the young families who are currently “being pushed into the abysses of Tuggeranong and Gunghalin where facilities/services are lacking” – they’ll still be heading in that direction, and just paying a bit less for stamp duty when they buy, and somewhat more each year, for rates, for ever after. The desirable houses in desirable inner suburbs will continue to go to people with deep pockets – all this policy will do is make the total cost of buying such houses a bit lower if it’s a buyer’s market, and the seller’s net proceeds a bit higher if it’s a seller’s market.

If the ACT Government really cared about housing affordability they would take a different approach to the zoning, pricing and release of land – but they are heavily dependent on land revenues and cannot afford to do so.

The real financial issue at the heart of all of this is the level and sustainability of ACT Government spending, not how the land revenue component of funding for it is derived. The arguments about the supposed economic efficiency and fairness of the rates/stamp duty trade off is ultimately just diverting window dressing (“it has to be paid for somehow, so let’s not engage in selfish debates about who pays what”) and a quite clever exercise in divide and rule.

“facilities/services are lacking”. If that’s the case it’s more important that older people live closer to the facilities/services, as some might no longer drive, and the older the person generally the more things like medical facilities are needed. They also need to be closer to shops, or at least on a direct bus route to one. Older people are no longer as physically active and need to be closer to services. That’s probably why near where I live many of the government retirement homes have been built near to shops or on a bus route. Younger people, on average, need to visit the doctor less, are more capable of cycling/walking to the closest shops (surveys show most trips are five kms or less, and these distances are easy to cycle); they also are more likely to have a car and drive. The children can attend the nearest school, even in the outer suburbs. Any other school is a choice and the parents shouldn’t use that to complain about having to travel so far. It was their free choice. The people living in the outer suburbs can save, live frugally and when they get older move to a better location. I get the feeling that a lot of groaning from people who find they can’t get a place to live that matches the standard of accommodation they will accept in an inner suburb, is because they want to be able to walk to a perceived ‘fancy’ cafe area such as Manuka. The lack of facilities/services is just an excuse. Is there really that much difference in availability for schools, etc across Canberra.

In all of that, there’s actually an important point regarding the claim that the new rates system will “encourage” (wonderfully euphemistic) and facilitate the movement of older people to more appropriate housing. If the Government is serious about this, and wants to do it in a thoughtful way, they will be giving careful attention to the range of services available in the more affordable suburbs, and take care to ensure that the services are not just directed at younger families with dependent children. They could also look at what scope they have, through planning and zoning policies etc., to encourage a good range of housing options for down-sizers – there has been at least one recent, high profile instance which illustrates that not everyone sees small(ish) high-rise apartments near a group centre or town centre as an acceptable alternative to a free-standing home on a suburban block.

Maya123 Maya123 5:09 pm 24 Jun 14

watto23 said :

Maya123 said :

Watson said :

The only place I could afford to buy was a brand new 2 beddie on the very edge of town. Not only was it significantly cheaper than any other house for sale at the time, I also only had to pay a deposit on the land, not on the combined value of land and house.

Do I think I deserve to get cheaper rates as compensation for living there? Hell yeah! It’s a sh!thole.

So stop your complaining about your high rates in the Inner North or South. At least you can save money by cycling places or strolling to your local shops. You might even be able to take a bus to work and save on petrol and parking. You have parks and ovals you can walk to and good places to walk your dog. If you don’t like paying for those privileges, I’m putting up my house for sale in a few months time. You are more than welcome to put a bid on my shoebox and my rates are only about $1,000.

What my main gripe is with, is people here suggesting because I’m older I should sell my house (which I only moved into a year ago after saving for it for over twenty years) and move into a one bedroom unit. I liked Old Canberrean’s comment, “I suppose you are thinking of something small and comfortable like a coffin. What a ridiculous and heartless suggestion.”
No, I’m keeping my house, despite a certain section of the correspondents here believing anyone over a certain age is better ‘packed’ away, and the houses made available to real people. Those same people will be at retirement age one day and how will they feel then when the next generation makes similar comments to them. Very limited imagination those people have living in the here and now.
I commiserate with you for your small ‘beddie’, but it doesn’t have to be forever. Pay it off and move to a better place. That’s what I did, although it took me twenty five plus years to do it, but I was aiming higher than I needed to and could have moved earlier. Rent the spare room if you can get anyone willing to move to the edge of town. My first tiny house was three bedroom and I rented out the other two rooms for several years.

You are taking things far too personally here. I understand retirees may be living on land worth a fortune and can’t afford the rate increases and moving older people is always difficult and a place is full of memories, but at the same time their house is worth a bucket load more money also. If they can’t afford the rates, at least under this system they won’t be penalised in stamp duty to move somewhere else. I agree the transition is where its difficult, but if someone came up with a solution rather than just complain about a policy then there would be value in that.
Stamp duty on houses is just a bad taxation policy, kind of like working off a commission, you never quite know how much money you’ll have in your budget and if something affects the local market that is outside the control of the ACT Gov, then the government loses revenue, gets a deficit in the budget and go into debt. Its safe to say most people want a guaranteed income stream, which is what this government policy is about.

Rates might triple, but I bet they would have at least doubled regardless under either government.

“You are taking things far too personally here.” Of course I am likely to take it personally when some write that empty rooms are a waste and I should sell up and move to a unit and let (younger) people have my house. If they had just said that those that can’t afford rate increases should move that would have been one thing, but older people were singled out. As though retired people don’t have use for a study (maybe still working part-time from home), which is what one of my bedrooms is used for, or have family and friends come to stay at times. I too like to be able to cycle or walk to my destination, grow a vegetable garden and fruit trees to be as self sustainable as I can be food wise, which is actually putting the land to a productive use. A lot of the arguments are about ‘wasted’ bedrooms. I haven’t heard any argument about wasted land with an oversized, energy hungry house built on it. I built an energy efficient house, small by today’s standards, and the resulting available land will be used more productively than most gardens. The trend is when younger people buy and redevelop an established house, where once sat a modest house, it is replaced with a giant house that goes from boundary to boundary with very little land left. Let’s shift the discussion of waste from older people living in houses, to the waste that modern families (smaller than in the past) and couples are creating by building these huge energy hungry houses. Perhaps there should be two families in the bigger ones, or this is a waste. By the way, I can likely afford the rate increases.

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 4:58 pm 24 Jun 14

dungfungus said :

HiddenDragon said :

aussieboy said :

Abolishing stamp duty is very good policy.

You should not be rewarded for staying in the same house for 20 years – if anything you should be punished. There are far too many retired couples living in 4-5 bedroom houses in Canberra’s inner suburbs. Meanwhile, young families are pushed into the abysses of Tuggeranong and Gunghalin where facilities/services are lacking.

If retirees can’t afford the new rates, they should move into a smaller place.

In the long term, this won’t be an issue – basic economics suggests that house prices will fall to compensate for the PV of increased rates – people will just need to factor rate costs into their affordability calculations.

This policy isn’t going to make things any better for the young families who are currently “being pushed into the abysses of Tuggeranong and Gunghalin where facilities/services are lacking” – they’ll still be heading in that direction, and just paying a bit less for stamp duty when they buy, and somewhat more each year, for rates, for ever after. The desirable houses in desirable inner suburbs will continue to go to people with deep pockets – all this policy will do is make the total cost of buying such houses a bit lower if it’s a buyer’s market, and the seller’s net proceeds a bit higher if it’s a seller’s market.

If the ACT Government really cared about housing affordability they would take a different approach to the zoning, pricing and release of land – but they are heavily dependent on land revenues and cannot afford to do so.

The real financial issue at the heart of all of this is the level and sustainability of ACT Government spending, not how the land revenue component of funding for it is derived. The arguments about the supposed economic efficiency and fairness of the rates/stamp duty trade off is ultimately just diverting window dressing (“it has to be paid for somehow, so let’s not engage in selfish debates about who pays what”) and a quite clever exercise in divide and rule.

Aren’t the young still getting a first new home owner’s grant? This is ontop of stamp duty concessions.
This is something older Canberrans never got yet who do you think is subsidising this?
If you claim the new policies are not making things any better for the young then what are the policies doing for us at the other end of the scale?

Others have already made the point – which I share – that the FHOG tends to be of more benefit to the seller, than the buyer – unless it’s a truly saturated buyers’ market. That’s why I think the spin about the new rates system assisting with housing access and affordability is just that – spin – the beneficiaries will tend to be sellers (particularly the investor/flipper category). Likewise, I think the main beneficiaries of the phasing out of stamp duty on insurance policies will be the insurance companies and their shareholders – not the policyholders.

My understanding is that FHOGs – in some shape or form, and with varying values in real terms – have been around for a long time, so there would surely be plenty of older people who would have received such assistance, not just the current generation of first home buyers. I’m sure there’s scope for debate about the real or relative value of past FHOGs, and there may have been periods when it didn’t apply at all but, as I say, it’s not exactly a novel idea.

I don’t think I’ve ever suggested that the new rates system is doing anything for people (as you put it) “at the other end of the scale” – I’ve been a consistent critic of it for the reasons summarised in my previous post. That said, I thought there was something in the recent Budget about extending stamp duty concessions for seniors(?) – not relevant to me, so I didn’t explore the details, but others may find it useful to do so.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back VYBerlinaV8_is_back 4:24 pm 24 Jun 14

watto23 said :

Rates might triple, but I bet they would have at least doubled regardless under either government.

Drawing a long bow. I suspect the ‘others’ would have cut spending rather than increasing taxation. Whether or not this would help overall is another matter.

That said, not paying for the new train set would go a long way toward getting our financial predicament back under control.

watto23 watto23 4:15 pm 24 Jun 14

Maya123 said :

Watson said :

The only place I could afford to buy was a brand new 2 beddie on the very edge of town. Not only was it significantly cheaper than any other house for sale at the time, I also only had to pay a deposit on the land, not on the combined value of land and house.

Do I think I deserve to get cheaper rates as compensation for living there? Hell yeah! It’s a sh!thole.

So stop your complaining about your high rates in the Inner North or South. At least you can save money by cycling places or strolling to your local shops. You might even be able to take a bus to work and save on petrol and parking. You have parks and ovals you can walk to and good places to walk your dog. If you don’t like paying for those privileges, I’m putting up my house for sale in a few months time. You are more than welcome to put a bid on my shoebox and my rates are only about $1,000.

What my main gripe is with, is people here suggesting because I’m older I should sell my house (which I only moved into a year ago after saving for it for over twenty years) and move into a one bedroom unit. I liked Old Canberrean’s comment, “I suppose you are thinking of something small and comfortable like a coffin. What a ridiculous and heartless suggestion.”
No, I’m keeping my house, despite a certain section of the correspondents here believing anyone over a certain age is better ‘packed’ away, and the houses made available to real people. Those same people will be at retirement age one day and how will they feel then when the next generation makes similar comments to them. Very limited imagination those people have living in the here and now.
I commiserate with you for your small ‘beddie’, but it doesn’t have to be forever. Pay it off and move to a better place. That’s what I did, although it took me twenty five plus years to do it, but I was aiming higher than I needed to and could have moved earlier. Rent the spare room if you can get anyone willing to move to the edge of town. My first tiny house was three bedroom and I rented out the other two rooms for several years.

You are taking things far too personally here. I understand retirees may be living on land worth a fortune and can’t afford the rate increases and moving older people is always difficult and a place is full of memories, but at the same time their house is worth a bucket load more money also. If they can’t afford the rates, at least under this system they won’t be penalised in stamp duty to move somewhere else. I agree the transition is where its difficult, but if someone came up with a solution rather than just complain about a policy then there would be value in that.
Stamp duty on houses is just a bad taxation policy, kind of like working off a commission, you never quite know how much money you’ll have in your budget and if something affects the local market that is outside the control of the ACT Gov, then the government loses revenue, gets a deficit in the budget and go into debt. Its safe to say most people want a guaranteed income stream, which is what this government policy is about.

Rates might triple, but I bet they would have at least doubled regardless under either government.

watto23 watto23 4:05 pm 24 Jun 14

bikhet said :

watto23 said :

I don’t see how this policy is unfair.

It is unfair because, as others have pointed out, existing owners have already paid the stamp duty and so the changed rating arrangements should affect their properties until the blocks are sold.

It may be more efficient, it may be necessary to fund better services, but it is unfair.

Yes I’m in this boat as well I paid stamp duty on my place, but how else are they going to change the policy. It is being done over 20 years which sounds very reasonable to me.
Rates are always going to rise as well. Its reasonably fair solution to a bad taxation policy which is stamp duty. If they just removed stamp duty overnight, its not fair to those who just bought either. And an instant rates hike would bankrupt people.

Its extremely fair on people when say they run into some financial trouble and decide to sell, they’ll have no stamp duty to pay and why should they pay to sell or buy another house. You should pay for your choice of land based on size and location and that is very fair.

So I understand while its unfair to those of us who paid stamp duty, ultimately it will be much fairer system.

chewy14 chewy14 1:45 pm 24 Jun 14

justin heywood said :

chewy14 said :

1. A government is not the same as a household. It’s good economics to borrow for needed infrastructure during downtimes, particularly with interest rates so low at the moment. Whether the proposed infrastructure is a good long term investment is another matter.

OK, I’ll stop you on this first point. Correct, a government is not the same as a household; a business would be a better analogy. And a business that is already spending more than it earns – with a serious prospect of harder times to come, does not resolve to relieve the pressure by spending even more. It is not good economics, except maybe for the green/Left.

And ‘needed’ infrastructure? Given that light rail is the major item, who has decided that this is what’s needed? Do you think anyone outside of the relevant politicians would have come up with the current plan? Do you think they support it because it’s ‘needed’ infrastructure?

Nobody on the government side is telling the truth, which is why their message is so confused. The whole dog and pony show is about Assembly politics, not ‘good economics’, not ‘needed infrastructure’ not anything else.

So you would prefer governments that acted pro-cyclical when it came to spending? I’m pretty sure that economists of most persuasions would disagree with you.

The argument isn’t about whether debt is always bad, and if you think it is, this conversation is over. The argument is whether the proposed infrastructure spending is actually “good” debt that will deliver long term benefits.

Saying things like ” cut your spending to meet revenue” is meaningless in this context. Saying things like the proposed infrastructure won’t provide the predicted benefits or would be better spent on other projects is reasonable and fair.

Maya123 Maya123 12:51 pm 24 Jun 14

Watson said :

The only place I could afford to buy was a brand new 2 beddie on the very edge of town. Not only was it significantly cheaper than any other house for sale at the time, I also only had to pay a deposit on the land, not on the combined value of land and house.

Do I think I deserve to get cheaper rates as compensation for living there? Hell yeah! It’s a sh!thole.

So stop your complaining about your high rates in the Inner North or South. At least you can save money by cycling places or strolling to your local shops. You might even be able to take a bus to work and save on petrol and parking. You have parks and ovals you can walk to and good places to walk your dog. If you don’t like paying for those privileges, I’m putting up my house for sale in a few months time. You are more than welcome to put a bid on my shoebox and my rates are only about $1,000.

What my main gripe is with, is people here suggesting because I’m older I should sell my house (which I only moved into a year ago after saving for it for over twenty years) and move into a one bedroom unit. I liked Old Canberrean’s comment, “I suppose you are thinking of something small and comfortable like a coffin. What a ridiculous and heartless suggestion.”
No, I’m keeping my house, despite a certain section of the correspondents here believing anyone over a certain age is better ‘packed’ away, and the houses made available to real people. Those same people will be at retirement age one day and how will they feel then when the next generation makes similar comments to them. Very limited imagination those people have living in the here and now.
I commiserate with you for your small ‘beddie’, but it doesn’t have to be forever. Pay it off and move to a better place. That’s what I did, although it took me twenty five plus years to do it, but I was aiming higher than I needed to and could have moved earlier. Rent the spare room if you can get anyone willing to move to the edge of town. My first tiny house was three bedroom and I rented out the other two rooms for several years.

Watson Watson 12:12 pm 24 Jun 14

The only place I could afford to buy was a brand new 2 beddie on the very edge of town. Not only was it significantly cheaper than any other house for sale at the time, I also only had to pay a deposit on the land, not on the combined value of land and house.

Do I think I deserve to get cheaper rates as compensation for living there? Hell yeah! It’s a sh!thole.

So stop your complaining about your high rates in the Inner North or South. At least you can save money by cycling places or strolling to your local shops. You might even be able to take a bus to work and save on petrol and parking. You have parks and ovals you can walk to and good places to walk your dog. If you don’t like paying for those privileges, I’m putting up my house for sale in a few months time. You are more than welcome to put a bid on my shoebox and my rates are only about $1,000.

Maya123 Maya123 11:51 am 24 Jun 14

watto23 said :

Maya123 said :

rommeldog56 said :

I should have included context :

1) Tuggeranong
2) An “average” location in an “average” Tuggers suburb – not Fadden, Monash or Gowrie.
3)And I suppose this is the killer – a 948sm block – which is common in a suburb established 24 years or so ago.

640sq m block. Typical size (Lower) Narrabundah. Rates 2014 $2266. (Established 50 – 60 years ago.) A previous house, also in Narrabundah, which I sold a year ago, had only slightly lower rates. That house’s block was about 460 (possibly a bit less) sq ms. That small 99sq m fibro house would definitely have been worth much less than most houses in Tuggeranong, had a smaller block, but still higher rates.

You have both highlighted why the new tax system is better, because people who want to either have larger blocks of land or live closer to the city pay for that privelege.
No body is forcing anyone to move houses, but making it easier to downsize or upsize when needed. My parents downsized happily after 25+ years in a 4bedroom house on a battleaxe block to something smaller because they didn’t want to look after the large block of land and the extra space. Others might be happy to do so, but relying on people moving houses is a bad way to tax people and unfair overall.
The money was always going to come from somewhere and the Liberals like their federal counterparts haven’t exactly put up any other ideas have they?
The rates policy is similar to how rego is done, the bigger the vehicle the more you pay. In fact its a very Liberal idea that people pay for what they want/use. I don’t see how this policy is unfair.
It may be unfair if you want to have a large block land close to the city and unwilling to pay for it. As for growing vegetables, I can grow them in my small courtyard townhouse, my rates are under $1k a year as well. Under the new system you have a choice, nobody is forcing you to do anything. As the liberals would say, live within your means and end the age of entitlement, which is exactly what this labor policy is doing.

“I can grow them in my small courtyard townhouse”.
I think it’s wonderful when people utilise the space they have, even if it’s only a balcony, but unless it’s a very big courtyard I doubt you can grow most/all of your vegetables, for use fresh and to store for winter use, such as potatoes, pumpkins, beans (to dry), chillies (dried), etc. Plus frozen vegetables. Then what about fruit trees, vines and bushes? I do hunt for feral fruit, but the variety is limited (usually to plums, blackberries and apples) and so I like to grow my own too. I eat it fresh, but I also bottle the fruit for all year use. I have many shelves covered with bottled fruit. I couldn’t grow all this in a typical courtyard.
You also say you live in a townhouse, but some here are suggesting that older people like me should live in a one bedroom unit. That has no garden, and the neighbours might smoke. Having visited people in flats (nice ones too) if someone smokes in a nearby flat, I noticed the smoke smell in my non-smoking friends flat too. Until flats are non-smoking, no thank you. The example I am thinking of the visitors could smell the smoke and commented on it, but the owner couldn’t. I guess they had become accustomed to the smell, but that didn’t make it any less healthy.

justin heywood justin heywood 11:47 am 24 Jun 14

chewy14 said :

1. A government is not the same as a household. It’s good economics to borrow for needed infrastructure during downtimes, particularly with interest rates so low at the moment. Whether the proposed infrastructure is a good long term investment is another matter.

OK, I’ll stop you on this first point. Correct, a government is not the same as a household; a business would be a better analogy. And a business that is already spending more than it earns – with a serious prospect of harder times to come, does not resolve to relieve the pressure by spending even more. It is not good economics, except maybe for the green/Left.

And ‘needed’ infrastructure? Given that light rail is the major item, who has decided that this is what’s needed? Do you think anyone outside of the relevant politicians would have come up with the current plan? Do you think they support it because it’s ‘needed’ infrastructure?

Nobody on the government side is telling the truth, which is why their message is so confused. The whole dog and pony show is about Assembly politics, not ‘good economics’, not ‘needed infrastructure’ not anything else.

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

 Top
Region Group Pty Ltd

Search across the site