Accessing super wouldn’t help housing affordability: Finance Minister

Accessing superannuation for a home deposit wouldn’t help address the problem of housing affordability, says Finance Minister Mathias Cormann.

Cormann, who is a member of the Expenditure Review Committee – which is also known as the ‘razor gang’ – was asked on Sky News about the recent speculation that the upcoming Budget would include some measure allowing first home buyers to access their super.

“Our housing affordability package will be announced as part of the Budget on the second Tuesday in May,” said Cormann, but then criticised the idea.

“From the Prime Minister down a number of us have made very clear statements that compulsory super is to generate an income in retirement and that is what superannuation is all about. Increasing the amount of money that goes into residential property, all other things being equal, does not help to make it more affordable, it puts upwards pressure on prices. So that is not something that we think would help address the problem.”

“If you have a concern about housing affordability, if you have a concern about the affordability of anything, the way to address it, overwhelmingly, is by increasing supply and overwhelmingly that is going to be the area that we have got to continue to focus on in the months and years ahead.”

The Finance Minister was also asked about Labor’s announcement today of new housing affordability policies, including banning SMSFs from borrowing.

“Labor takes a very lazy policy approach to all of this,” said Cormann.

“They think that a one size fits all approach to housing affordability is the way to go, when clearly it is not.”

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