Thursday, September 12, 2019

Immigration hurting our young people

Australia's rate of home ownership among young people has plummeted dramatically between generations, an official report has revealed.

Baby boomers enjoyed higher rates of home ownership when they were in their twenties compared with youths today, an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare analysis of official data showed.

BABY BOOMERS: Those born between 1947 and 1951 had a 54 per cent home ownership rate in 1976, when they were aged between 25 and 29. Now mainly in retirement, they had an 82 per cent home ownership rate in 2016.

GENERATION Y: Those born between 1987 and 1991 had a 37 per cent home ownership rate in 2016, when they were in their late twenties. In four decades, that has plunged dramatically to just 37 per cent for those aged 25 to 29.

Home ownership rates have also fallen for Australians in their thirties. In 1971 almost two-thirds, or 64 per cent, of those aged 30 to 34 owned their own  home. This plunged to 50 per cent in 2016.

High levels of immigration in recent decades have been blamed for fuelling steep house price increases 

'Most immigrants move to major cities, leading to an increase in demand for housing in these areas,' the AIHW report said.  'Population increases in Australia are driving demand for housing, other services and infrastructure. 'Overseas migration has contributed to increased housing demand.'

As Australia's population has increased, so have median house and apartment prices compared to average-income levels.

In 2016 and 2017 more than two-thirds or 67 per cent of Australia's population increase was centred on Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Baby boomers have been the big beneficiaries of that, with their rate of home ownership to 82 per cent by 2016, for those aged 65 to 69.

'Home ownership rates have also decreased among people nearing retirement,' it said.

This has been the case, especially since 1996, with home ownership rates among those aged 50 to 54 falling from 80 per cent to 74 per cent, with older Generation X Australians born in the 1960s among those struggling to now afford a home.

A Sydney house, with a median price of $877,220, is now 10 times an average, full-time salary of $85,000.

A prospective borrower needs to be earning $156,000 to pay off such a loan without being in mortgage stress, where a third or home of their pay goes towards repayments.

In the late 1980s, an equivalent suburban home in Australia's biggest city would have cost five times an average, full-time salary.

In May, Australia's net annual immigration rate stood at 294,430 - or a level more than four times the 20th century average of 70,000.


Cheap US energy leads Australian company to OK mill expansion in Ohio, not Australia

US energy prices just one-third of those in Australia, along with a robust manufacturing sector stoked by President Donald Trump's policies, have prompted a $1 billion expansion of an Ohio steel mill by BlueScope.

BlueScope chief executive Mr Vassella said the $1 billion expansion of the North Star mill, to be fully up and running by 2023, was the largest capital investment the steelmaker would likely ever make, and would deliver annual returns of 15 per cent-plus.

He said the company had intimate knowledge of the mill because it helped build it in the first place in the mid-1990s in a joint venture with North American group Cargill, and had moved to full ownership in 2015.

Mr Vassella lamented the state of Australian manufacturing as the sector battled high energy prices and said one of the main drivers of the North Star expansion, which will increase capacity by 40 per cent, was that energy costs in the United States were substantially lower.

"That's a tragedy quite frankly for Australian manufacturing,'' Mr Vassella said.

BlueScope also operates the Port Kembla steelworks in New South Wales, which underwent major cost-cutting and restructuring in 2015. Mr Vassella said he worried a lot about manufacturers in Australia who were BlueScope's customers and were facing ''demand destruction'' because their energy costs were too high.

Mr Vassella is also making a bet on the economic policies of Mr Trump,  which had been a positive for domestic US industry. North Star's main customers are in the automotive and construction industries and 95 per cent of them are within a 350km radius of the North Star mill. "The mood in the US is pretty good,'' Mr Vassella said.

He emphasised there had been a year of detailed planning and number-crunching prior to the board giving the go-ahead for the expansion. "We're not frivolous with this sort of money,'' Mr Vassella said.

"This is a 30-year investment. What I'd say about North Star is that we built this asset. We know the business really well. I think it allows us to feel very confident about the return profile.''

Mr Vassella also promised shareholders that BlueScope wouldn't end up as one of the big Australian companies which make a mess of major investments overseas.

Wesfarmers squandered billions on a flawed expansion into the United Kingdom hardware market in a big bet, rather than the steady incremental growth which BlueScope had been pursuing.

The expansion green light on Monday came as BlueScope produced a full-year net profit of $1.02 billion and a continuation of a share buyback of up to $250 million.


What costs taxpayers about $1.1 billion dollars a year, employs 4,500 people, is governed by a legislated charter and a truckload of rules, worries about climate change, dresses to the green Left and is concerned about your orgasms?

Yes indeed, it’s your ABC — so lie back and think of your national broadcaster.

Let’s have a look at ABC Life, what Aunty calls a “new digital storytelling project created to reach new audiences in an innovative and engaging way”.

It provides advice on food, money, travel, style, family, work, well-being, sex and relationships.

Some attention came its way last year when former Junkee political editor and former Greens candidate Osman Faruqi was appointed Life’s deputy editor, just when the ABC was cutting 20 jobs elsewhere, apparently to be “fully fit for the modern media environment”.

So what does this “modern media environment” look like, you ask?

This month we saw: “From Aladdin to Breakfast at Tiffany’s, is it OK to keep watching problematic old films?”

And: “How do we reconcile the fact that our child or teenage self didn’t pick up on blatant sexism, racism or homophobia?”

What fun these ABC Life people must be, judging every old movie or song on a current wokeness indicator.

Last month, ABC Life told us it was “time to close the masturbation gap”. Yes, you heard correctly, the public broadcaster has finally got me to say ABC and masturbation in the same sentence.

Apparently, Life tells us, only one in every four women is masturbating regularly, and our national broadcaster has hang-ups about that. “Blame the patriarchy … and religion”, it wanks on.

Also last month, this story was produced: “Why we get earworms and how to shake them off”. Helpfully, the author explained: “Although not literally worms, the process of having a song stuck in your head affects most of the population.”

And here I was thinking they were like tapeworms, only louder.

Just a month earlier Life got into fantasies, and no, they weren’t referring to ABC election predictions. “Faking orgasms could be contributing to the orgasm gap” was the alarming spin.  “Men, this is where you can help by being open to honest feedback,” we were told.

Well, we’re here to help, I think, but all that’s a big step up from the gender pay gap.

We’ve also had: “I fell in love with my hairdresser” which makes this site look like a trashy supermarket magazine.

And this week they asked the tough questions about urinating.  “You’re racing out the front door, when you stop and ask yourself: ‘Should I go to the toilet now, so I don’t have to worry about it later?’ Do you head back inside to the loo? Or keep walking?”

I can assure you, this is what they published. This is your tax dollars at work.

They have even given us the incredible health news that if you don’t drink you don’t have hangovers and that makes being a morning person a lot easier. Now that’s sobering information, isn’t it?

We asked the ABC what specific part of their Charter these articles are intended to meet, what the site cost and how many people it employed.

They said their Charter demands a mix of programs and content of wide appeal and specialised interest.

They didn’t give us anything on staffing or budgets but claimed the overwhelming majority of their audience is satisfied with the content and believes it fits with the ABC.

But why are taxpayers dollars spent on generating more of the dross that is available everywhere else, online, anytime, for free?  Isn’t the ABC supposed to use our money to improve the quality of information available, to provide something we would not otherwise have?

This looks for all the world like the ABC playing with itself at our expense.


Controversial cashless welfare card is set for a national roll-out as key senator Jacqui Lambie announces she backs the plan

Welfare recipients are in the Morrison government's sights as federal parliament resumes for the first time after a long winter break.

The coalition wants to expand cashless welfare card trials across the country and has the backing of key Senate crossbencher Jacqui Lambie.

'I've always been a big supporter of the cashless welfare cards - I've seen the result that has had,' Senator Lambie told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

'I will say this, though, get those algorithms right because quite frankly it's taking you way too long, get it moving.'

Cashless welfare cards, which quarantine 80 per cent of payments so they can only be spent on essentials, are currently in use across four trial sites in South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland.

Deputy opposition leader Richard Marles confirmed Labor remained opposed to a nationwide rollout of cashless welfare cards. 'It's for the government to actually explain the basis on which it sees a benefit in this being rolled out,' he told the ABC. 'The auditor-general has been scathing about the effectiveness of this where it has been tried. The evidence that the government cites is really skinny.'

However, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson is confident the cards are working. 'It's actually cut back on domestic violence, people on drugs, people who are actually on alcohol. Kids are going to school, so it has worked in areas,' she said.

Senator Lambie will also support legislation to drug test welfare recipients, but only if federal politicians are also screened for illicit substances. 'If you've got nothing to hide up there in that big white house, then it's now your turn to go and do those random drug and alcohol testing,' she said.

'What's wrong with you people, what, might miss a few wines after 8 o'clock of a night time, will we? That'll keep the backbenchers in line.'

Nationals backbencher Barnaby Joyce has no qualms about MPs being drug tested. 'I don't think it's right that someone should be passing laws to stop people sticking crap up their nose and then doing it themselves,' he told the Seven Network. 'I've got absolutely no problems whatsoever with drug-testing of politicians.'

Mr Marles is also happy to be drug tested but does not want the disadvantaged to be persecuted under the policy. 'I think there is an indignity in what is being proposed here,' the deputy opposition leader said.

'We're for anything which stops people taking drugs, and anything which gets people into work, but we've got to see what the evidence for this particular proposition is. 'It's a real problem if we're seeing the most vulnerable in our society being persecuted.'

The two-year drug testing trial would be rolled out in three locations - Logan in Queensland, Canterbury-Bankstown in NSW and Mandurah in WA.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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