Letters of the Week

Fairness to buyers, mortgage multiples, and public super

Fairness for the buyer

If Monique Sasson Wakelin's interest is fairness for the buyer (Underquoting rears its ugly head), why not run a campaign to make sales histories available to members of the public? This is the system in WA, where one can apply to the Valuer General's department, now part of Landgate, and for a small fee obtain the information one needs.

My daughter had the misfortune of spending and wasting frustrating months in Melbourne when she was buying because the public can't get sales history information in that town. Apparently it is restricted to licensed real estate agents.

If Monique is not afraid of the real estate industry in places where such restrictive practice exists, please get a campaign going to un-restrict it.

MN

Mortgage multiples

Interesting point from John Abernethy about 30% mortgage deposits (Deflating the banks’ bubble), but why not a 20% minimum deposit on a mortgage and go back to multiples of wages? For example, I remember in the UK it used to be 2 to 2.5 times the main wage and 1 times the second wage maximum mortgage. This then keeps borrowing in line with wages and vice versa, stops the inflation in house prices to a greater degree.

S Graham

Public super

I am surprised at the number of correspondents who are taking issue with government and public servants on the issue of tax and superannuation (see Your say on super).

It seems clear that taxation revenue is down at least in part due to the fall in the economy since the GFC. That fall was largely the fault of private enterprise, particularly global banks, but none of your letter writers seem to recognise this. In this country we maintained strong controls on the banking system unlike USA, which dropped many laws and rules for the supervision of the banking industry.  But we are part of the global economy and so we suffered just the same, although far less at fault.  We have a massive list of infrastructure projects which, partly due to the fall in taxation revenue, governments can no longer fund. When trying to raise more taxation, the government is castigated when we all know that these projects are needed, particularly in public transport, hospitals and schools. Sure, the concessions for superannuation have as one aim not having to pay pensions for the higher income people. But the need to maintain taxation revenue is a crucial part of managing the economy. Otherwise we will end up like Greece, Spain and Italy. No one wants that. So a review of taxation is most appropriate. Surely we should have a graduated taxation system, where those who earn more or who have more money in super pay proportionately more tax.

We are not talking about massive amounts but should continue with our decades-old graduated system to ensure we can fund the infrastructure we need. Your letter writers are not talking about the massive salaries paid to bank and mining company CEOs. Only about “highly paid politicians and public servants”. Last time I looked the PM is paid far less than these overpaid executives.

CM

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