House prices, not wages, is the bigger issue

Letters, Australian Financial Review  15 January 2014  p33
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   Peter Pitt (“High wages force companies to consider offshore options”, AFR January 10) suggests that a lower minimum wage will improve employment retention in Australia. The lower wage countries he uses to support his point include the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Japan.

   Of these, only Japan actually has a lower official unemployment rate than Australia. However, Japan uses a narrower definition of unemployment, has a lower participation rate and has around one-sixth of its population living below the poverty line. Given that Australia has some of the most unaffordable housing in the world, fuelled by exorbitant land prices, lower minimum wages are a certain recipe for increasing homelessness and the numbers of working poor.

   Australian wages are not too high. Rather, it is the exorbitant price of all types of land that is the real enemy of employment and progress. This problem is perpetuated by a taxation system that punishes effort and rewards unproductive speculation. Australia can increase employment and wages to their full and natural levels by freeing the labour market of land monopoly and other unjust privileges that block fair access to work opportunities. This can be achieved by removing taxes off the backs of wealth producers and returning the unimproved site value of land to the Australian people via the Treasury.

Ronald E Johnson Association for Good Government Canberra, ACT


1 Comment

  1. THEO16-01-2014

    I totally agree land prices are the cause of all evil when it comes to land and house prices. Peter Pitt sounds like he represents interest groups. that pay for his opinion and to talk negatively about everything except the groups he represents interests while deliberately ignoring the real reasons for the high cost of living in Australia. Seriously Is he legally blind? or is he challenged in some way? What incompetent, uneducated reasoning and deductions he has come to. Sounds like this person has never lacked anything in his life and must come from an affluent background which makes him oblivious to the real world and how the average Australian struggles through life. His arguments is an insult to most Australians. If Peter Pitt is an Australian , as the article does not specify, finds wages too high in Australia then maybe he should set an example and lower his salary and all other sources of income first and especially should be the first to leave if he finds Australia too expensive for his taste instead of making hypocritically immature for his education and age statements that are so full of it. I for one will not miss him

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