Triple J Hack Interview with Tom Tilley

Release Date: 
10 June 2015
Transcript

TOM TILLEY:
In the studio we have an MP from both sides of politics. We have Parliamentary Secretary for the Government, Alan Tudge, hello Alan, great to have you in the studio.
ALAN TUDGE:
G'day Tom.
TOM TILLEY:
And we also have Andrew Leigh from Labor who also is an economist. G'day Andrew.
ANDREW LEIGH:
G'day Tom, g'day Alan.
ALAN TUDGE:
G'day Andrew.
TOM TILLEY:
Alan, now we've heard Joe Hockey talking about a good wage. What do you think a good wage is? Is it around the average weekly earnings of $76,000? Can you put a number on what good money is?
ALAN TUDGE:
I don't think you can put a single number on it Tom.
It really depends on what comes with the salary, where's it located, what are the conditions, what's the flexibility, how old you are? If you're straight out of uni and you're earning maybe $50,000, that's probably a pretty good salary. Maybe if you're later in your career you're probably looking for a little more.
TOM TILLEY:
Yeah it's interesting looking at someone's age, for example if they come out of uni, they earn the average graduate wage of $52,000. We just heard in the story before if you're on the average wage, to buy a median priced apartment or the average priced apartment across Australian capital cities, it'd take you nine years to save for a deposit if you're saving 20 per cent of your salary per year. That means you wouldn't be buying your first property until well into your 30s.
ALAN TUDGE:
It depends on what sort of property you're looking for and whereabouts.
There's some locations where properties are sky high, particularly in Sydney and parts of Melbourne. There's other locations though around Australia where properties are more affordable.
Even in parts of Melbourne in my electorate I was just looking up on the internet before, there's 20 properties which are advertised in my electorate in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne for under $400,000.
Where I grew up in Pakenham, a little bit further out, there's a brand new three bedroom house which sold today for $335,000. That's more affordable for someone who might be on a $60,000 or $70,000 wage.
TOM TILLEY:
Andrew Leigh, what do you think is good money?
ANDREW LEIGH:
Well Tom I think we need to make sure we don't conflate a good job with being a job that just earns a lot of money.
TOM TILLEY:
Is that you thought Joe Hockey was doing in that statement?
ANDREW LEIGH:
I did, yes, and there's plenty of jobs which I regard as good jobs despite the fact they're not paid all that well.
I think about the people that taught my two eldest children at school today, or the people that looked after my youngest at the childcare centre. I think about the nurses, the firefighters, the police officers.
What really worried me about Joe Hockey's comment was it seemed to be following on from his poor people don't drive cars gaffe, another statement which again indicated that he was not only out of touch with Australia but unwilling to recognise the real inherent value of teachers and firefighters and nurses.
TOM TILLEY:
Yeah that's the message we've heard a lot from Labor today that Joe Hockey is out of touch. Alan Tudge, what do you say to that from a man that owns a multi-million home valued at $5 million by the Daily Telegraph. Today, lives in his wife's investment property in Canberra, apparently he's been selling a farm. To say that it's affordable to get a home loan at a time when there's record levels of house prices to income, is Joe Hockey out of touch?
ALAN TUDGE:
I don't think he is out of touch. If you look at actually what he said, it was largely a statement of the obvious, that yes if you've got a reasonable job which is secure then it's easier to get a home loan. That's in essence what he said.

I think you can also look at what he's been delivering over the last 12 months, particularly the most recent budget, it's a very good budget for small business people, for families to help with access to the childcare system for example. That's a person who is in touch with everyday Australians.
TOM TILLEY:
Alright I'm sure Andrew Leigh you would have lots of rebuttal to that but we're about to run into the clock where we have the news. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you Andrew, thank you Alan.
ALAN TUDGE:
Thanks Tom.
ANDREW LEIGH:
Thanks Tom.