Tense moment Jim Chalmers is asked THREE TIMES if he supports a rent freeze – before he finally gives a decent answer
- The treasurer fails three times to say whether he supports the rent freeze
- Dr. Chalmers hasn’t been focused on that element of it
Treasurer Jim Chalmers has tried to dodge questions about whether he supports a rent freeze after being asked for his opinion three times in a tense TV interview.
Interviewed on ABC’s Insider, Dr. Chalmers was asked by host David Speers his thoughts on a national rent freeze and whether it was “a good idea right now.”
The treasurer paused and took an audible deep breath before giving his answer on Sunday.
“It’s more of a sense that we have other things we can do on a national level and that’s been my focus,” he said.
“I haven’t focused particularly on that element of it.”
The question came as rents spiraled out of control across the country and prices in Sydney rose 25.2 per cent over the past 12 months.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers failed three times Sunday morning to say whether he supports a rent freeze to help people struggling with massive increases. The photo shows people lining up to look at a rental property
In Melbourne it is 21.9 percent, in Brisbane 20.8 percent and in Perth 16.3 percent.
The Greens have called for a rent freeze and have vowed to block Labour’s $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund in the Senate if their demand is not met.
Speers questioned Dr. Chalmers a second time to find out whether or not the treasurer was behind a temporary freeze.
“You have to have a view,” he said.
Dr. Chalmers replied: ‘The Prime Minister and the Minister of Housing have that in their possession and they have been in touch with the National Cabinet on this’.
Speers did not seem satisfied with the answer and questioned the treasurer again.
‘You are the treasurer, you have no idea whether a rent freeze is a good or bad idea for the economy?’ he said.
‘Well, my thoughts are we’d be better off trying to encourage the supply of (housing)’, said Dr Chalmers.
“And while we’re doing that, we better try to take some of the rent pressure that people are feeling and that’s why I funded (in the budget) the biggest rent increase in three decades.”
The proposal for a rent freeze came from the Greens, who said they will block Labour’s $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund in the Senate unless the government forces states to freeze rents for two years.
On Wednesday, the Greens teamed up with the coalition to debate the federal housing fund that would build 30,000 affordable homes over the next five years.
This prompted Labor Senator and Foreign Secretary Penny Wong to launch a sensational attack on the Greens.
Your spokesperson for housing (Max Chandler-Mather) is now prioritizing media attention (above) housing for women and children fleeing domestic violence.
Dr. Chalmers (pictured) was asked by ABC Insiders host David Speers his thoughts on a national rent freeze and whether it was “a good idea right now”
“It’s embarrassing, you know… this man’s ego,” Senator Wong said.
Another Green senator, Nick McKim, said Ms. Wong’s comments were “out of order” and called on her to withdraw them, which she did.
“She clearly shows that Chandler-Mather is under the government’s skin,” McKim said.
The government has made some concessions to the crossbench, including agreeing to index the fund’s spending limit from 2029-30 to inflation instead of a hard cap of $500 million.
But the Greens think it doesn’t go far enough and want the government to do more to tackle rising rents.
“The government is bringing a bucket of water to a house fire,” Greens leader Adam Bandt told ABC.
“The rental crisis will get worse in the coming years… We say we’re willing to work with you on your housing package, but it’s not enough to just tick off.”