The Victorian government should study the descent of California from ‘The Golden State’ to economic basket case since 1978 under Proposition 13 before implementing the populist capping of council rates.  If we understand the rationale for property rating, we will surely see why rate capping or ‘the minimum rate’ both have the poor subsidising properties of the wealthy.


Meanwhile, on another matter, a challenging letter to THE AGE today …..

A distant dream

While  Treasury Secretary  John Fraser issues a warning on the  housing bubble, our Prime Minister   identifies himself with its cause: “I do hope that our housing prices are increasing” (“PM wants affordability as well as rising house prices”,  2/6). Despite the Treasurer’s statement on tax reform that “everything is on the table”,  changes to negative gearing are ruled out.  Ninety-five  per cent of members of  parliament own property.  It is not surprising that neither Liberal nor Labor are lining up to introduce reforms.

At the same time, my daughter and her family are being priced out of buying even a modest unit.  Sydney houses are  selling for 10 times the median annual income, with Melbourne not far behind. Owning a home of their own is becoming nothing but a distant dream for the next generation.

Bryan Long, Balwyn

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