Joe Hockey stands by “get a good job” comment to home buyers; Pumpkin Patch shares slump after no buyer found: Midday Roundup

Joe Hockey stands by “get a good job” comment to home buyers; Pumpkin Patch shares slump after no buyer found: Midday Roundup

Treasurer Joe Hockey is standing by his comments to first home buyers to “get a good job that pays good money”, despite copping flak from the opposition and members of the public.

On Tuesday, Hockey said the first step for would-be home owners is to “get a good job that pays good money” but his comments were met with allegations he is out of touch with Australians who are struggling to purchase their first home in a strong property market.

This morning, Hockey told ABC radio he “totally understands” the state of the housing market in Sydney and Melbourne but said his critics are “playing the man”, reports Fairfax.

“I understand the depth of feeling. Of course I do … yes it is difficult for first home buyers to get into the market,” Hockey said.

“For a lot of people, a lot of Australians in Sydney and Melbourne, some other parts of Australia, housing is very expensive and I understand that. I totally understand that. When you’re committing so much of your wage to your mortgage it’s a big ask, with all the other pressures in life.”

But Hockey refused to apologise for the remarks and instead conceded “good jobs” such as nursing and policing could be made “better”.

Pumpkin Patch shares slump after no buyer found

Shares in New Zealand-based children’s clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch have taken a hit after the company revealed at the end of last week it was unable to find a suitable buyer for the chain.

Business Day reports Pumpkin Patch had invited formal acquisition proposals earlier this year but failed to reach a deal after discussions with several interested parties.

Following the news, Pumpkin Patch shares dropped by 12% to a low of NZ$0.20 ($0.19) on Monday. The company’s shares are now trading at NZ$0.24.

In a statement to shareholders on Friday, Pumpkin Patch said it will continue to focus on “performance improvement initiatives”.

The retailer is forecasting earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for the year ending July 31 to come in at NZ$14 million.

Shares up on open

Local shares are up this morning despite a shaky global lead overnight.

“After five days of selling, investors will be hoping for a breather. Whether or not they get it may depend on the bond market,” said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, in a statement.

 

“Whether our yield stocks, including the big banks, are able to hold the line in the face of this development may hold the key to whether the ASX 200 index takes a breather from recent relentless selling.”

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 5.1 points to 5476.4 points at 12:06pm AEST. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones closed down 0.01%, falling 2.51 points to 17,764.0 points.

Tags: economy, property, Joe Hockey, jobs, Pumpkin Patch, retail, children’s clothing, New Zealand, ASX, shares, sharemarket

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