Housing supply

Increase housing supply, not demand

The main, if not the only way to achieve this is to remove all land use planning constraints on the outskirts of cities.

This will increase the supply of land for development and thus increase the number of homes for sale. This absolutely guarantees to drive down housing prices. Increase supply, not increase demand.

Tim Walshaw
Watson, ACT

Different shots for different homebuyers

Why would the Morrison government immediately reject the new home help initiative for Labor homebuyers with taunts like ‘Labour wants a seat at your kitchen table and takes advantage of your new house ” ?

Wouldn’t it be better to embrace the Labor Party initiative as catering to another niche segment of the market, i.e. ambitious homeowners unable to pay off a full market mortgage required in the under the First Home Guarantee program, but who welcome the exchange of public capital for more sustainable mortgage payments?

The housing crisis requires “different blows for different people”, or market segmentation.

The Labor Party’s proposed investment in social housing and plans to set up a National Supply and Affordability Council are also welcome initiatives.

david nelson
Chapel Hill, Queensland

Aussie coffee all froth and trouble

What a surprise – Australian coffee makers again give us their well-rehearsed moan about why they need to raise their prices (“What happened when this cafe raised coffee prices…to $6.50 », April 29).

It’s been that way since the 1990s, when the price of a cup of coffee went from $2 to the absurd $5 a cup they’re extorting from us today.

It’s not their fault, they say – it’s the milk, the coffee beans, the labor shortages, the energy prices and the rising costs of fake Polynesian tattoos for their bearded baristas.

Meanwhile, in Italy, an espresso costs 1 euro (around $1.50) – and the price drops further as you travel south. For a latte, do not add more than 20 euro cents.

That said, I’d be happy to hand over $10 per cup if our local coffee shops could offer something that wasn’t milky, burnt, and undrinkable. The only reason the crooks who run Australian cafes charge so much is because they think they can get away with it.

James Panichi
Princes Hill, Vic

Reform the cloistered conclave of the RBA

An investigation into the RBA is urgently needed now that the cash rate was raised well ahead of its guidance date of 2024.

The aim must be to put the issues of interest rates, price inflation, asset inflation, economic growth and employment back on the political agenda.

These questions have been relegated in lieu of softer debate questions as MPs are overwhelmed with RBA deliberations, appearing to be unfamiliar with the fundamentals or, even famously, the defunct value of 0.1% of the rate. change.

The RBA issues a monthly non-dissenting decision. On paper, at least, the RBA board is meant to be a voting body, much like the High Court. By comparison, High Court decisions are often split, with judges clearly articulating minority positions. Does the RBA value strict unanimity expressed in difficult language?

A recommendation is that each statement from the RBA be accompanied by an opposing Democratic viewpoint from a member of the Board of Trustees or a prominent rotating academic with access to the RBA meeting.

A scheduled parliamentary debate should follow the RBA’s monthly announcement with at least one statement from Liberal, Labor and Green spokespersons so that the effects of the RBA’s decision on all sectors of society are represented fairly and openly.

malcolm cameron
Camberwell, Vic

In any case, the credibility of the RBA in tatters

Regardless of what RBA Governor Philip Lowe has done with interest rates, the RBA’s credibility is in tatters. It was only last year that Lowe told us we needed higher inflation, followed by assurances that the Bank Rate would not rise until 2024. More recently, he predicted that inflation would not exceed 2.5%.

The trigger was the RBA’s misguided $350 billion government bond buying program designed to manipulate long-term interest rates downwards, which was a spectacular failure and resulted in losses of several billion dollars for taxpayers.

Even now, Lowe refuses to admit that he and his army of economists dropped the ball. Even though persistent inflation is, and always will be, the result of excessively accommodative monetary policy, which in turn allows for accommodative fiscal policy.

Like the government, the RBA is trying to blame COVID-19 and the Ukraine crisis, which only accelerated what was already happening. Abnormally low rates for too long affect supply, reward and encourage speculation to the detriment of investment in the productive economy. When demand is stimulated by higher debt and government aid, there can only be one result: higher prices.

It remains to be seen if Lowe does his duty and musters up the courage to stop the train of inflation he helped propel. Failure to do so will seal his legacy as Australia’s worst central banker.

Marc Engelbrecht
Floreat, WA

Many more are needed to update the courts

Talk about the fruits at hand. Instead of targeting tech (“I’m not technophobic, but online hearings are fake: Judge”, May 3), the NSW Chief Justice should go offline and aim higher in the legal tree: throw away antiquated rituals such as the black coat and horse-wigs while various lawyers call another of their sidekick “your honor” (thinking otherwise) and “my learned brother” (smoking inside “if it’s true, I would commit fratricide on the moron”).

The public which the law must serve is no less honourable; in many cases, those on the witness stand are arguably better educated.

Ramani Venkatramani
Rhodes, New South Wales