Rent subsidies under attack

Prime Minister John Howard is considering rent relief to deal with the tightening rental market, but there are calls for the federal government to leave the $2.2 billion rental assistance scheme alone and instead take the heat out of the housing market by scrapping the $7,000 first home buyers scheme. The Opposition says that the rental assistance scheme is in need of reform not just more money poured in. Harry Triguboff, Australia's biggest apartment owner, said landlords would push up rents if rental assistance was increased.