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Joe Hockey's Message For First Home Buyers Will Make You Scream

It's not unaffordable. You just can't afford it.

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The government has been defending spiralling house prices in Australia's large capital cities, with young people needing tens of thousands of dollars to afford a deposit and mortgage.

"If housing was unaffordable in Sydney nobody would be buying it," said Hockey in a press conference on Tuesday.

But when questioned about the situation for first home buyers, Hockey replied, well, "the starting point for first home buyers is to get a job that pays good money."

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Serious concerns have been raised about Sydney's house affordability with real estate analysts predicting the median house price to surge past $1 million by the end of the year.

Labor leader Bill Shorten told BuzzFeed News it was another gaffe similar to his "poor people don't drive cars" comment last year.

"What planet is Joe Hockey living on? Joe Hockey must be the only person in Australia who doesn't think housing affordability is an issue. As far as he's concerned, if Joe Hockey's doing OK then everyone else is too," said Shorten.

"How are Australians supposed to find the 'good jobs that pay more' when unemployment is at its highest levels in more than a decade under his government?"

Labor have left open the possibility of reigning in the process known as "negative gearing", which sees wealthy real estate owners able to borrow more and more money to buy several homes. The Greens want to scrap it entirely, suggesting it's one of the reasons home ownership for a new buyer is so hard and that rent prices are going up.

The prime minister Tony Abbott was criticised last week for refusing to heed calls of an impending housing bubble, saying "as someone who, along with the bank, owns a house in Sydney I do hope our housing prices are increasing."

Then there is the matter of Hockey's own real estate portfolio.

As reported by The Australian last month the Hockey family has two Sydney multi-million dollar homes and several Queensland properties. All appear to be purchased by his wife, international investment banker Melissa Babbagge.

Hockey's own parliamentary income tops out at more than $360,000 a year.

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There were people who were immediately mad at the comment.

thanks Joe Hockey, up til now I've only been getting jobs that pay badly. Thanks for the tip!

Many questioned what that meant for people in public service jobs.

Mr Hockey, next time you're in hospital getting seen to by a nurse, are you going to insist that s/he gets a job that pays good money?

And others who had some helpful advice for the next generation.

mendy’s guide to home ownership 1. be rich 2. don’t be not rich

Some people thought the stereotype of the "cigar chomping Treasurer" was back.

I guess the cartoonists will need to fire up their cigar-drawing muscles again

That the member for North Sydney might be a bit out of touch.