Labor comes out swinging at super housing proposals

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen has hit out at the rumoured proposal to allow early access to super for first home buyers, saying it will only serve to drive up housing prices and line vendors’ pockets.

Treasurer Scott Morrison has yet to go on the record about the matter, but rumours are rife that the government is considering allowing first home buyers to access their superannuation to fund their first property purchase.

The closest Mr Morrison has come to addressing this issue on the record came earlier this week, when he noted that retirees are using their superannuation to pay off outstanding mortgage debts upon retirement.

The rumoured plan would see house prices rise, as handing young buyers more money would increase demand, Mr Bowen said.

“The only winners would be vendors who would have two first home buyers with access to super outbidding each other, spending their superannuation money,” he said on ABC Radio yesterday morning.

He also labelled the scheme an attempt by the Liberal Party to “undermine” Australia’s superannuation system, and pointed out what he sees as inconsistencies in arguments from the Liberal camp.

“Malcolm Turnbull once said it was ‘a thoroughly bad idea’, Mathias Cormann said it was a bad idea as late as last month, and yet Scott Morrison [is] flailing around trying to find some answer on housing affordability when he refuses to use the main lever at his disposal, negative gearing reform.”

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