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OECD calls for action on infrastructure and housing

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 23 Sep 2016

Greens Treasury spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, commented today on the release of the OECD’s Interim Economic Outlook.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The OECD has joined the chorus of voices urging governments to invest more in infrastructure.

“The OECD has clearly said that debt funding of productive and transformative infrastructure is more likely to improve economic conditions than weaken them, and the failure of governments to take advantage of record low interest rates is creating a ‘self-fulfilling low-growth trap’.

“Despite all of this evidence and all of the world’s experts telling it otherwise, the Turnbull Government is stuck on a ‘debt is bad’ mantra that risks crippling the Australian economy.

“The government needs to get over its neoliberal fixation and make sure that we use historically low interest rates to invest in the right assets.

“Unlike the major parties, the Greens took a clear policy to the last election to reform the federal infrastructure financing framework and to borrow to invest in the infrastructure of the 21st century.

“The OCED has also pointed out that the failure of governments to borrow is creating the space for housing bubbles to form and contributing to systemic risk in the financial markets.

“It’s blindingly obvious that house prices in Australia are not sustainable. But the Turnbull Government is happy to watch a generation of Australians get locked out of the housing market.

“As recently retired Governor of the Reserve Bank, Glenn Stevens, made clear, Australia’s debt problem is a mortgage debt problem not a government debt problem,” he concluded.

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