Waleed Aly needs to grow a pair


Is there any better exemplar of the emptiness of the fake left than Waleed Aly?

It’s grim, isn’t it? This week, we’ve heard ANZ’s chief executive declare home loans are now “the preserve of the rich”, seen the Rental Affordability Index conclude that renting is less affordable than ever, and learnt that our social cohesion is at the lowest level ever measured by the Scanlon-Monash index. All are clearly related.

…I can’t escape the conclusion that housing is central to this. Partly that’s because it’s so elemental: without it, we literally risk dying of exposure. For that to become broadly precarious, secure only for the rich, is to place a great insecurity at the heart of all our most important civic relationships.

But even more than that, a housing crisis of this kind can end up stratifying society in insidious ways.

One of the Rental Affordability Index’s more sober findings is that the unaffordability is now more or less everywhere: cities, suburbs, even regions. That means the stress is everywhere, but also that people are being pushed further and further out.

…It’s into this environment that stage 3 tax cuts will land. That must surely amplify the sense that the wrong people are being charged the price of taming inflation; that something about the system is amiss.

This year’s Scanlon report has only 12% of us thinking our system of government works fine as it is. That’s some remarkably low political capital to spend. And it’s in this respect that stage 3 may prove most truly unaffordable.

And how, pray tell, will tax cuts going ahead or not fix housing? They will not.

What will fix housing and the social cohesion that Waleed claims to care about is freezing immigration so that the supply side of property markets can catch up to extreme immigration-fed demand.

Then, when you resume the inflows, do it at a pace that investment can keep pace with.


That is the ONLY answer to your concerns, Waleed, so why don’t you grow a pair and argue the case.

About the author
David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal. He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.