Joe Hockey's​ challenge to house-hunters to find higher paying jobs has insulted nurses, teacher and childcare workers who say he is "out of touch" with hard-working Australians.

Amy Bell, who works as an early childhood educator in Randwick, said Mr Hockey was "out of touch" with most Australians. She would love to buy a house, but could not afford to borrow the money she needed.

"I went into the the profession of early childhood because I am passionate about it and it's what I always wanted to do. Early Childhood is something the society and economy needs to function properly," she said.

"Once I pay my rent, my bills, transport and food, I only have about $100 left."

Dianne Byers, a classroom teacher at Narellan Vale Public School halved her salary when she decided to stop running her own business to become a teacher.

"As teachers the work we do, we don't do it for the income. We do it for the outcome for the kids," she said.

Lisa Snajlov, a community development co-ordinator at the Rozelle Neighbourhood Centre, said she would love to have a house, but cannot save enough for a deposit.

"I've been working all my life but have never had the capacity to earn the bigger dollars to buy a house," she said.

Brett Holmes, general secretary of the NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association said Mr Hockey's comment was "ridiculous".

"It just shows how completely out of touch Joe Hockey has become with the realities of the average working person," Mr Holmes said.

"He hasn't thought about the consequences of what he is saying for all of those people who work in low-paid jobs in the aged care industry. Who is going to care for his parents in a nursing home if everyone is out trying to get a paid job?

"He is clearly not thinking about the delivery of emergency and essential services."

Mr Holmes said aged care nurses earned as little as $20 per hour.

"Mr Hockey's government would make their lives even worse by attacking their penalty rates if he gets the opportunity," Mr Holmes said.

Maurie Mulheron, president of the NSW Teachers Federation said the Treasurer was suggesting that people providing essential public services including teaching and nursing should move out of their chosen profession. He said the 2.5 per cent public sector wage freeze in NSW should be lifted.

"It's not a matter of getting a higher paid job, it's a matter of getting higher pay for the job people do and recognising it.

"It's an insult to people who work in those areas of public service and shows how out of touch Joe Hockey is."

Unions NSW Assistant Secretary Mark Morey said Mr Hockey should retract his "utterly outrageous statement that workers should just simply change jobs for other higher paying non-existent jobs to be able to crack into the housing market".

"Tell that to the young 30 something's paying $700+ a week in rent and locked out of the housing market. This is a man who's mortgage is partly funded thanks to the generosity of Australian tax payers," he said.

"It's a pity such generous parliamentary allowances are not available to all rent payers and would-be home owners.

"Joe Hockey lives in such a political bubble that he obviously has no contact with regular working families in Australia who struggle every day to make ends meet."


See more:

Add your comment