Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison suggests struggling renters should buy a house

Scott Morrison says the best way to support people is to help them buy a house.
Scott Morrison says the best way to support people is to help them buy a house. Photo credit: Getty Images

As thousands of Australians struggle with rising rent, their Prime Minister has a simple solution: buy a house.

The remark comes amid criticism of Scott Morrison over his controversial plan to tackle rental prices by boosting homeownership, rather than providing rental relief.

In an interview with the Today show, he said instead of looking to ease the rental prices, the government will help renters buy their own home.

"[The] best way to support people who are renting a house is to help them buy a house," he told the news outlet.

"Ensuring that more renters can buy their own home and get the security of homeownership – this is one of the key focuses of this budget and was one of the key pledges I’ve delivered on since the last election."

Australia has been facing a rental crisis, made worse by recent flooding in Queensland and New South Wales wiping out thousands of homes.

A new report from the Australian Council of Social Service found regional rent prices in Australia are 18 percent higher than they were two years ago, despite wages only increasing by six percent.

Many Australians have called Morrison's comments out of touch, as many struggle with providing basic necessities let alone affording to buy a house.

"What rental crisis? The Prime Minister is literally telling struggling renters to just go and buy a house," one person tweeted.

"Scott Morrison has said some appalling things and it’s hard to pick a clear winner but suggesting that people who can’t afford rent should buy a house is up there," another added.

"The brain of a wombat without the cuteness," tweeted a third.

On Tuesday, treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced a budget promising to double the government's first home buyer scheme to 50,000 places. The scheme decreases the minimum home deposit from 20 to 5 percent, with the government securing the difference.

The Australian government also announced one-off tax relief worth $420 million this year to counter the increasing cost of living concerns.