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Thursday, 11 June 2020
Page: 3914


Dr LEIGH (Fenner) (13:45): From the party that brought us knighthoods, robodebt and the right to bigotry, we shouldn't expect much. But, even by their standards, HomeBuilder is a home blunder. It's a policy that worsens inequality and does nothing for growth. With six months to start, that narrows eligibility down to one group of people: those who were going to build anyway.

Modest renovators need not apply; the project has to be worth at least $150,000. Who has that kind of money sitting around? When I crunched the ABS figures, I found it's only the wealthiest fifth of Australians. So, with a massive social housing deficit and the lowest homeownership rate in 60 years, the government will pay wealthy households to do renovations they were already going to do. Yet the government has been doing more huffing and puffing than occurred in the story of the Three Little Pigs. The housing minister says there'll be hundreds of thousands of jobs, and the Treasurer says there'll be 7,000 projects. The fact check on this isn't hard. Just divide the first number by the second and ask yourself: who's telling porkies?

The Prime Minister needs to stop taking his policy ideas from reality TV. Just because you gave 300 grand to Scott Cam doesn't mean The Block is a good basis for our economic recovery. It's as absurd as the minister for multiculturalism downplaying racism by pointing to MasterChef. In reality, this government is more like Married At First Sight: a train wreck Australians can't look away from.