Mum writes perfect letter to Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey about his 'out of touch' comments on house prices

Her open letter has been shared over 23,000 times on Facebook

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The Independent Online

An Australian mother has penned a hard-hitting letter to Joe Hockey, North Sydney MP and Treasurer of Australia, after he said that prospective first home buyers should simply "get a good job" if they wanted to afford a house, despite Sydney's out of control property prices.

Hockey said on Tuesday: "The starting point for a first home buyer is to get a good job that pays good money."

He also said: "If housing was unaffordable in Sydney, people wouldn't be buying", in a speech that many Australians have said was out of touch.

House prices in Sydney are skyrocketing, more people are buying property as an investment, rather than a place to live, and the number of mortgages given to would-be first time buyers is reaching record lows. The issue is mounting across Australia, but Hockey's constituents are feeling the pinch the most.

His comments incensed struggling Australians, but none more so than Mel Wilson from Wodonga, Victoria, who published an open letter to Wilson on her Facebook page that has now been shared more than 23,000 times.

Responding to Hockey's encouragement to "get a good job", she writes: "I just wanted to ask how one might go about this? Are you going to be reviewing all the current awards that are in place to ensure that most jobs pay 'good money'?"

"Are you going to be creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs that, under your awards, pay over $100,000 [£49,600] a year?"

"Apologies if I have missed this fantastic news, but as someone working in two senior HR roles, I believe I would have known about this so that I could pass the message on to some very tired, over qualified employees who currently fall under various federal and state awards and are being paid between $18 to $25 [£8.90 to £12.40] per hour."


"Are you aware of what the average Australian wage is? Are you aware of what the average Australian mortgage in Sydney is? Are you aware of the first-home buying process?"

According to 9News Australia, for every 13 homes bought in Australia, only two are by first-time buyers, and the figures are much worse in Sydney.

Additionally, Martin North, from Digital Finance Analytics, says that many of these first time buyers are only able to afford to buy with help from their parents - naturally, it is much harder for those from lower-income backgrounds.

House prices in Sydney rose by 12.4 per cent in 2014, and have continued surging, putting homes out of the reach of most first-time-buyers, regardless of whether they have a "good job" or not.

Later on in the letter, Mel Wilson goes on to paint a picture of 'Joe Junior', a young man who has just got a job out of university and is looking to buy a home.

She tells Hockey of Joe Junior's plight, where he would have to save every single penny from four years' work to be able to afford a mortgage and a house. However, the mortgage payments are high, well over what Joe Junior earns in his "good job that pays good money".

He soon finds himself unable to buy anything despite his considerable savings and extreme luck, and Wilson ends the letter by asking Hockey: "Are you really aware of all the facts and figures when you say things like buying your first home is 'readily affordable' to young people?"

She added that she was looking forward to "another one of your politically correct, direct and well thought out responses", signing off as "another baffled Australian".

In an interview with Daily Mail Australia, Wilson said she thought Hockey was out of touch with ordinary Australians.

She said: "Both him and Tony Abbott just make uneducated and bizarre comments regarding the Australian public regularly."

"I don't know why they don't have a staff to make sure they don't do that. Obviously it's reflecting they're completely out of touch with average people."

Despite the backlash, Hockey did not apologise for his comments. He said that the government had "more work to do" to create well paying jobs that would allow people to afford homes, and said it was working with states to build more houses to meet the demand and hopefully drive down prices.

He's previously angered Australians for being out of touch in August last year, when he said a fuel tax rise wouldn't affect poor people because they don't have cars.