Dick Smith blames his generation for housing crisis, calls for reduced immigration in new book
9 August 2017
Robbie Patterson for The Manly Daily
MILLIONAIRE businessman Dick Smith has taken aim at his own generation, saying its greed has crippled young people’s ability to own their first home.
He launched a scathing attack on Australia’s politicians, accusing them of being too scared to make tax changes that would be unpopular with the generation already on the “homeownership gravy train”.
“These people may be aware that the system that has skewed the game so heavily in their favour is locking the next generation out,” he wrote in Dick Smith Fair Go released this week.
“But, along with property developers, they want to hold on to their investment properties and milk younger Australians for all they’re worth.”
The former Australian of the Year’s manifesto calls on the Federal Government to reduce immigration and make changes to tax breaks such as negative gearing and capital gains laws.
He also argued for a land tax to replace stamp duty so that people with multiple houses pay a percentage of their land’s worth annually to even out the playing field.
In the book, Mr Smith points out that older Australians who had benefited from tax exemptions, made up 68 per cent of the electorate so politicians were unwilling to change tax laws.
“Why would a turkey vote for an early Christmas?” he wrote, citing that investment properties had risen on average about 70 per cent since 2012.
It follows the former retailer’s public support of controversial One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson last year, in which he described her zero-net immigration policy as “spot on”.
Zero net immigration means Australia takes in only the same amount of immigrants that leave.
Yesterday, the 73-year-old from Terrey Hills highlighted population growth as the single biggest issue impacting housing affordability.
“Every Australian family has a population policy, they don’t have 20 kids, they have the number of children they can give a good life to,” he told the Manly Daily.
“But our politicians have no equivalent plan — you must have an appropriate plan. We need to bring immigration down to the long-term average which it was at in Paul Keating’s time as prime minister — about 70,000 people a year.”
He argues most of the — roughly 4000 — immigrants coming to Australia per week, were picked for high-level skills meaning they could immediately compete with Australian first-home buyers, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne.
“Land and house prices depend on supply and demand. Australia’s housing supply clearly has difficulty keeping up with our breakneck population growth,” Mr Smith wrote.
Mr Smith denied that his sentiments were racist.
“The reason I wrote the book is to talk about what no one talks about,” he said.
“If you mention population growth they say you are racist … it has nothing to do with racism, we need to live in balance. You can’t have endless population.”
He said the book was a warning to politicians that they will “destroy Australia” if they do not take heed.
“You need to get immigration down to that level so young people will be able to afford houses,” he said.
He added there would be 100 million people in Australia by the end of the century and 30 per cent of people will be unemployed if things don’t change.
In the book he also takes aim at “turbocharged bank lending”; overseas investors; and tax benefits as causing an “almost impossible-to-fix” situation of housing affordability.
Mr Smith pointed out that in just two generations, the price of a house had increased eightfold from 1.5 times the average annual income to 12 times the average annual income.
“A dramatically increasing population, a tax regime that unfairly subsidises the wealthy and overseas investors are the key drivers of the crisis,” the book, says.
The book can be downloaded for free at: dicksmithfairgo.com.au
Read the original article HERE.