Rudd on grocery and housing prices (letter)by M. GordonNews Weekly
, August 4, 2007
Kevin Rudd must be working backwards for ideas.
Gough Whitlam tried to get price-control powers and failed, Bob Hawke had his infamous Price Watch diversion, and now Rudd wants the ACCC to monitor grocery prices — another diversion?
The focus groups must have muttered something, but grocery prices are going to be a diversion — and for what possible reason?
Rudd admits himself that his proposed monitoring and national inquiry (sounds like a summit, doesn't it?) would not necessarily lead to a fall in prices.
Most commentary on price movements is usually completely wrong, and drawing conclusions about price movements based on seasonal fruit and vegetable prices is too potty for words.
Rudd's foray into housing is also interesting. His state Labor colleagues control the levers of land releases and, by releasing land too slowly to keep up with growing demand, cause prices to rise — several times faster than the rate of house-building costs.
Planning processes delay things too, adding 15 per cent to costs (according to NSW's Urban Task Force), which further burdens consumers.
Rudd complains about old people having to occupy hospital beds because of the shortage of nursing homes. The reason is that state planning delays the building of new nursing home accommodation, and the culprits are Rudd's party colleagues.
Did I miss something here, or did the media?(Mr) M. Gordon,