Last night saw SBS’s excellent Insight program tackle housing affordability under the title Out of Reach. Over 270 comments have been posted since the event, giving warrant to the excellent comparing host Jenny Brockie does each week.

As probably the fourth panel type forum seen on non-commercial TV over the last year, this one was the best. Julian Disney pushed for the kind of hard nosed reform that we prefer – wholesale tax reform. Though he was hesitant to go as far as we do, he did state that negative gearing be abolished and capital gains on property be captured.

Ross Gittens, economic commentator with Fairfax, even surprised by stating that Commonwealth Rent Assistance only leads to higher rents. In effect it is a subsidy for the landlords. To see ALP Minister for Housing Tanya Pliberseck agree was of interest. A cursory knowledge of economics and the law of rent should see her applying this to virtually every other ALP housing policy as well.

As stated in this earlier post, all ALP housing policies will add to the demand side, pushing up prices and acting as a subsidy for the wealthiest industry in the nation.

Releasing Commonwealth Land Supply is the biggest furphy. Land bankers are rubbing their hands with glee. See the evidence here

The only effective policy is to penalise land bankers with a reformed Land Tax, re-badged as a Site Rental, at a higher and flatter rate than at present. It is such a powerful medium that it could fund the abolition of many other taxes. Will they discuss this at today’s COAG meeting?