"Sorry, PM - Even if I had the money, I would never buy a house for my kids."

Earlier this week Scott Morrison referred to $80,000 as an “average income” – and today, the PM suggested that parents should “shell out” to help their kids buy their first home – and both of these ideas showed that they are out of touch with the struggles of Australian families.

On ABC radio on Wednesday, Jon Faine asked the PM about housing affordability, in particular his comments on negative gearing causing generational conflict. He said, “They’re saying: ‘For goodness sake, you baby boomers want everything and you’re locking us out’.”

Then the PM asked Faine if his kids were locked out of the market, to which he answered that they were.

The PM responded, “Well you should shell out for them – you should support them, a wealthy man like you.”

Faine laughed and said, “That’s what they say!”

“Well you should shell out for them – you should support them, a wealthy man like you." (Image via Getty)

Then the PM said, “Well exactly. There you go – you’ve got the solution in your own hands. You can provide a bit of inter-generational equity in the Faine family.”

But, the issue of housing affordability is no laughing matter.

Does the PM think we don't know what's going to happen to us and our mortgages once interest rates inevitably start to go up? Does he think we don't lose sleep over the fact our kids can't afford to purchase a home? Does he really believe that most Australians are in a position to help their children enter the property market and that it's even a good idea?

I suspect he's forgetting a few very important things:

Firstly, majority of Australians (not the small percentage of wealthy parents) can't afford to help their children buy homes. They have worked hard all their lives to get themselves in a position to enjoy their retirements.

Their homes are paid off, they have a bit of money in the bank, and they are secure.What does the PM expect parents to do at this point? Draw from the equity in their home to help their children afford one? So that after 30 years of paying off their home they can go back in debt? After spending their lives trying to get out of it?

Does he expect them to use their retirement savings to help their children purchase homes? The money they need to make last for their entire lives by living carefully, suddenly halved, or quartered, or drastically reduced?

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What message does that send our kids? (Image: Supplied)

Secondly, what if these baby boomers and retirees plan to live long lives? How will they pay for their good health-fortune? I'd suggest they start smoking in order to shorten their lives - so they don't live long enough to run out of money after helping their kids buy homes -but they probably can't afford to do that either, now that cigarettes are set to increase to $40 a pack.

Not that the government can actually afford for smokers to quit. They are counting on tobacco revenue to pay down their own debt, a deficit that has tripled during their time in office.

It's a shame not more of that terrifying deficit was spent on helping people to buy homes, to pay for child care, to create more child care places, to make health care more affordable, to invest in education and training.

It wasn't meant to be this way.

We were taught that if we concentrated on our studies, got ourselves a good job and worked hard we'd be able to buy into the great Australian dream of home ownership and spend weekends repainting the walls and furniture shopping and enjoying the security that comes with the concept home ownership.

When we own our own home we can buy as many pets as we like. We can stay as long as we like!

Now an entire generation of Australians are locked out of the property market, thanks in part to irresponsible lending by banks, thanks in part to poor spending decisions made by successive governments, thanks in part to overseas investors being allowed to drive prices up and to the lack of affordable housing in areas we actually want to live.

Regardless of the fact most Australian's aren't even close to the financial position that would allow them to comfortably help grown children buy homes, it's not a good idea anyway. My children are 12, 8 and 6 and if I jump in and solve all of their financial issues, I rob them of the chance to learn to solve them. I do them a huge disservice.

How will they fully enjoy the sense of pride that comes with the purchase of your own home if they need help from mummy and daddy to do it, because their hard work is no longer enough?


What message does that send to them?

My husband's boys from his first marriage are 27 and 23. They would love to be able to buy a home. They have good jobs and work long hours. If they are lucky they might be able to afford an investment property, that is if they never go out and never enjoy life and buy the food they want and ever travel to visit us.

We need our government to come up with solutions that don't point the finger at parents who are not "shelling out" to help their kids buy a home. The problem of housing affordability isn't a small issue and it shouldn't be joked about, dismissed or shoved into a "too hard" basket.

We need our government to come up with solutions that don't point the finger at parents who are not "shelling out" to help their kids buy a home. (Image: Supplied)

I knew a family who did exactly what Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (half-jokingly) suggested. The father helped all of his children buy homes. He had a successful business and had worked hard all of his life so he made the choice to do it. Then the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) hit and it all went down the drain. His business started to struggle. His children were forced to move and/or downsize their homes. Eventually all of them lost everything. They lost every home, even sense of security, every cent.

If he had hung on to his money, if he'd focused on ensuring his position was secure, on maintaining his wealth, he would have been in a better position to ride out the economic storm and to offer some temporary assistance to his children, if they needed it.

He couldn't do any of that and it almost ruined him.

For so many reasons, for all of the reasons I have mentioned, it is unfair that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull expects parents to step up to the plate and solve this issue. Sure he was having a bit of a laugh, sure the announcer was laughing along with him, but for those of us who aren't in a position to do this, who don't even agree that it is the right thing to do, it felt disrespectful - and very, very unhelpful.

Sorry, Prime Minister, but the problem of housing affordability is not for we parents to solve. It is, after all, your job.

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