Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Daily Telegraph wedges tenants, disses DOH

Despite apparently failing to dig up either a houso who would deign to talk to them, or a resentful houso-in-waiting to exploit, the Daily Telegraph went ahead and published their nasty piece of work "You pay: Tenants rorting public housing"

DH believes in freedom of information and has no issues with the Telegraph publicising the fact that 1037 people underestimated their income in order to live a life of luxury and excess at the taxpayer's expense.

But what a slant! The article manages to create a swatch of new realities for a "Brave New Australia": Analysing the subtext we read

  • People who earn more than circa $1200* a week have no right to security of tenure
  • A wealthy country like Australia has no duty to house anyone who earns more than $1200
  • The long waiting lists for public housing are the fault of tenants, not poor policy.
  • DoH are wimps for not ejecting everyone who earns more than $1200 straight out into the street and the welcoming arms of the biggest affordable housing crisis this country has ever known.
Now DH likes to have a go at DoH from time to time. That's her brief. She does it because she believes democracy thrives on no-bull plain English free speech.

But for all its faults it's still our DoH and the best landlord in NSW***. DoH is full of great, dedicated people with a commitment to the human right to shelter, doing their best with limited funding, impossible staffing conundrums, and a series of dud ministers. ***

DH's blood is BOILING about this article but it's New Year's Day
and she has a life and a family and is not going to spend another minute
jousting with craven hacks.
But tomorrow, she will demolish the argument point by point.
Watch this space.

* Figure varies with number of people in household
* DH has paid market rent on occasion herself. After market rent, HECS, Austudy, prescriptions, and public transport costs, she was not that much better off than she had been on the carer,s pension. She will recalculate the exact figure by current stands soon. It wd be of the order of abt $150 a week.
*Make that arguably the best landlord, not necessarily the most responsive
* DH excludes Matt Brown, who she hears is a decent fellow, so she is giving him the benefit of the doubt despite the fact that his one notable utterance was the surprising statement for a Labor fella that "housing is a privilege, not a right". But perhaps we can blame the sensationalist press for that.

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