Bills to enact the First Home Super Saver Scheme and downsizer contribution have been introduced to Parliament.
These measures, which were announced in the 2017, are aimed at improving housing affordability. Though Labor has criticised both the policy and the delay between the announcement and the introduction of legislation.
Treasurer Scott Morrison said the Government is “moving forward” on the housing affordability package from the Budget.
“The FHSSS [First Home Super Saver Scheme] legislation will enable prospective first home buyers to save for a deposit inside their superannuation account. This will be a game changer for young Australians trying to get their first place,” he said.
The First Home Super Saver Scheme is meant to apply to contributions from 1 July 2017, however the Bill was only introduced to Parliament this week, and it is unclear if it will pass the Senate. Labor has said they will oppose the measure.
Update: Neither of the FHSSS Bills are listed for a resumption of debate in the Draft Legislation Programme for the House of Representatives next week. The Bills also aren’t listed on the Draft Legislation Programme for the Senate for the 11-14 September. The programme is indicative and subject to change, but it suggests the Government doesn’t expect the Bills to reach the Senate until at least October – the next sitting week starts on the 16th of October.
Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen said: “Here we are on 7 September and Scott Morrison is introducing legislation for a scheme that was meant to commence on 1 July this year and that was first announced in the May Budget.”
“Given the Treasurer has been spruiking this ‘first home super saver’ policy on social media he should tell the Parliament in his first reading speech how many Australians have taken up the first home saver scheme since 1 July?”
“Mr Morrison’s dodgy super scheme will do nothing to address housing affordability but will instead work to undermine Australia’s world class superannuation system and Labor will not support it.”
“Superannuation accounts are supposed to be locked boxes to generate retirement income, not the play things of the government of the day to give access to super savings for whatever priority they wish. ”
The Bills were introduced and read a first and second time before debate was adjourned. The Bills are:
- Treasury Laws Amendment (Reducing Pressure on Housing Affordability Measures No. 1) Bill 2017
- First Home Super Saver Tax Bill 2017
Also introduced was the Treasury Laws Amendment (Housing Tax Integrity) Bill 2017, which includes changes to tax deductions for travel and depreciation for real estate, among other changes.