First home buyers accessing super “stupidest idea ever”, says Chris Bowen

Labor Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen says an option being considered by the Government for first home buyers to access superannuation is the “Stupidest. Idea. Ever. 2.0”.

According to reports the Prime Minister is “actively considering” allowing first home buyers have their superannuation take an equity stake in a property they want to buy. Earlier reports had the Government considering allowing first home buyers to withdraw voluntary contributions to put towards a deposit.

“The Government’s latest version of a thought bubble on accessing super for housing is dangerous, increases financial risk, undermines the generation of retirement incomes, and will only serve to bid up house prices,” said Chris Bowen.

“This proposal would just encourage first home buyers to use their own super to bid against investors who would continue to have access to the most generous property tax concessions in the world.”

“That isn’t a plan, it’s a sham and would just increase house prices.”

Mr Bowen said curbing the tax concessions on property investment was the best way to get more first home buyers into the housing market.

He also noted that Malcolm Turnbull in the past called using superannuation for a house deposit a “thoroughly bad idea”. In interviews on Thursday the PM refused to say if he still agreed with his previous statement and said: “I’m not going to go into speculation about what is, or will not be, or is being considered in the Budget.”

“Now this ‘stands for nothing’ Prime Minister is being dragged to seriously consider crazy ideas from the Liberal backbench.” Direct investment by super funds in the homes of members is a policy favoured by Liberal MP John Alexander.

“The Turnbull Government will stop at no crazy idea – including breaking open Australia’s retirement income system – to avoid reforming negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount,” said Mr Bowen.

“At a time when the regulatory agencies are very concerned about housing risks in the economy, the Government wants to encourage first home buyers to go all in on one property through their limited super savings.”

“And the great irony here is that the Government is currently seeking to legislate an objective for superannuation linking it to retirement income, while this latest thought bubble directly contradicts that objective.”

“That isn’t a plan; it’s a sham”: Shadow Minister

Katy Gallagher, Labor’s Shadow Minister for Small Business and Financial Services, says allowing first home buyers to access super is a “sham”.

Rice Warner research shows that for a 35 year old on average earnings using $100,000 in super savings for a housing deposit, would cost the taxpayer an additional $92,000 in Age Pension payments in the future.”

“It’s yet another reminder that the Government will come up with any crazy idea to avoid having to do the hard work on housing affordability by reforming negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount.”

“And we know that the Coalition will continue to do everything in its power to undermine Australia’s retirement income system and compulsory super system in particular.”

“This latest Government proposal would just encourage first home buyers to use their own super to bid against investors who would continue to have access to the most generous property tax concessions in the world.”

“That isn’t a plan; it’s a sham and would just increase house prices.”

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