Bowen announces support for home downsizing policy

Labor will support any “sensible proposal put forward by the government” to encourage pensioners to downsize their homes, shadow treasurer Chris Bowen has said.

Mr Bowen said while Labor agrees with Treasurer Scott Morrison’s suggestion that if older Australians want to downsize they should be supported and encouraged to do so, this idea, as put forward by the Liberal party, ignores the fact that the Liberals cut a Labor program designed to do the same thing.

“Labor introduced the Housing Help for Seniors measure in the 2013 budget. This measure was designed to help pensioners downsize their homes without it affecting the rate of their pension,” said Mr Bowen.

“The Liberals took the knife to this almost immediately after the last election.”

Labor will, however, look seriously at “any sensible proposal put forward by the government”.

“But Labor does not support including the family home in the pension assets test,” he said.

Mr Bowen also urged Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Mr Morrison to “stop the endless talk and actually make a decision on retirement incomes policy”.

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