Scott Morrison’s new plan to help first home buyers use their superannuation to purchase a house is a “terrible populist policy for extra votes,” a Perth economist says.
The Super Home Buyer Scheme allows first-home buyers to use up to 40 per cent of their superannuation, capped at $50,000 maximum, as a deposit on a home. The policy promise was unveiled just six days before the election at the Liberal’s campaign launch in Brisbane.
But housing finance company WAI Group director Paul Stanley said the proposed scheme, which was met with mixed responses from unions and major industry groups, “fails young people”.
“The very purpose of superannuation is to fund someone’s retirement which is embedded in legislation, and this new policy sets people up for failure… it breaches the law,” Mr Stanley said.
Morrison’s home buyer scheme is touted to alleviate financial barriers that prevent young people from stepping onto the first rung of the property ladder. It also aims to increase housing supply by financially incentivising those aged over 55 to downsize.
But experts say house prices will likely rise with the increase in demand, making inflation a problem.
“In this increasing interest rate environment, mortgage rates will be up by 5.75 per cent… the property market needs to come back down before we implement such schemes,” Mr Stanley said.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese labelled the scheme an “attack” on future savings and future generations.
The PM did not respond to questions on the issue.
He told Channel Seven’s Sunrise that this was about allowing people to use their own money and invest in their own house.
“This helps people get in their own home now, they don’t have to stand on the side lines while they see house prices go up and they get left out,” he said.
“The Labor party and others oppose this because they don’t treat super like it’s your money.”
Greens Senator and youth advocate, Jordan Steele-John labelled the policy “terrifying”.
“Instead of addressing the root cause of the housing crisis, the Coalition’s policy allows desperate young people to rob their future selves to put a roof over their heads in the present,” Mr Steele-John said.
Superannuation was introduced in 1992 under the Keating Labor Government. Albanese claims the Liberals have been trying to destroy the initiative.
“This [Liberal] government, every opportunity they have to attack super, they do so,” Albanese said.