Keat­ing trashes us­ing su­per for first home buy

The Chronicle - - NATION NEWS - Claire Bick­ers

FOR­MER Prime Min­is­ter Paul Keat­ing has trashed a pro­posal to al­low first home buy­ers to dip into their su­per­an­nu­a­tion for a home de­posit.

Mean­while, One Na­tion leader Pauline Han­son has wel­comed re­ports the gov­ern­ment is con­sid­er­ing the pro­posal ahead of the May bud­get, claim­ing the Coali­tion has adopted an­other of her poli­cies.

Coali­tion MPs, in­clud­ing gov­ern­ment min­is­ters, have not ruled out changes to su­per­an­nu­a­tion rules in its May bud­get hous­ing pack­age in the past few weeks.

Mr Keat­ing has is­sued a warn­ing to the gov­ern­ment that al­low­ing young Aus­tralians to ac­cess their su­per­an­nu­a­tion to be able to af­ford a house would “rob them” of sav­ings later in life.

In an opin­ion piece for Fair­fax Me­dia, the for­mer Prime Min­is­ter writes the pro­posal is an “ir­re­spon­si­ble” idea that would also push up cur­rent hous­ing prices.

“The two key el­e­ments un­der­pin­ning su­per­an­nu­a­tion are preser­va­tion of con­tri­bu­tions to age 55 and the com­pound earn­ings on those con­tri­bu­tions,” Mr Keat­ing said.

“If the preser­va­tion rule is breached and sav­ings,

❝of Di­ver­sion sav­ings into hous­ing would sim­ply push up the price of prop­er­ties.

es­pe­cially those of young peo­ple, are al­lowed to drain away, the loss of the ac­cu­mu­la­tion and its com­pound­ing would rob them of a large block of sav­ings at the end of their work­ing lives.

“And to make mat­ters worse, the pro­posed di­ver­sion of these sav­ings into hous­ing would sim­ply push up the price of the cur­rent stock of prop­er­ties.

“It would add to de­mand while do­ing noth­ing to sup­ply.

“So were the gov­ern­ment to pro­ceed with this ir­re­spon­si­ble idea, it would po­ten­tially de­stroy su­per­an­nu­a­tion for those, in the main, un­der 40 years of age, while at the same time, driv­ing up the cost of the hous­ing they are seek­ing to pur­chase.

“As an eco­nomic idea, this is scan­dalous,” the for­mer Trea­surer said.

Se­na­tor Han­son and fel­low cross­bencher Se­na­tor Der­ryn Hinch went head to head over the pro­posal on Chan­nel Seven’s Sun­rise pro­gram yes­ter­day morn­ing.

Se­na­tor Hinch called the idea “mad­ness”, say­ing su­per­an­nu­a­tion was de­signed to sup­port peo­ple in their re­tire­ment not for “young­sters”.

“It is not your God-given right to own a home,” he said.

A fired up Han­son re­sponded: “That might be your opin­ion but a lot of my poli­cies over the years have been picked up by the Lib­er­als, the Coali­tion I should say, and the Labor Party.”

“I am polling 10% in the polls. I do not think that you’re even a blip on the radar, Der­ryn,” she said.

“These are poli­cies to get out there.”

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