Liberal MP Tim Wilson has called for first-home buyers (FHB) to be able to access their superannuation to help them pay for a deposit.
However, Labor MP Julian Hill claims this would make it harder for them to get into the housing market because it would push up prices, which would benefit existing homeowners.
Hill also notes that Wilson and his husband stand to gain immensely from the policy given they collectively own five properties between them. Hence, they are acting out of pure self-interest by advocating for a policy that would inflate property values and boost their wealth.
From The New Daily:
“I do accept that [Mr Wilson is] interested in increasing home ownership,” Mr Hill said in a speech to Parliament on Thursday.
“But the Liberal MPs who are pushing this idea should be honest. The only people who benefit are home owners.
“He and his husband between them own five properties; it’s on his parliamentary declaration.
“He’d stand to benefit from this policy, but first-home buyers would not”…
“You don’t make housing more affordable by making it more expensive. It’s a ridiculous policy to pour more cash into people’s pockets as house prices are already rising – [it’s] petrol on the fire,” Mr Hill said.
Regular readers will know that I do not support Labor’s position of lifting the superannuation guarantee to 12%. Doing so would lower take-home pay, worsen the long-term sustainability of the federal budget and increase inequality.
In fact, the only winners from this policy would be the superannuation industry itself (including Labor-aligned industry funds), which would earn fatter fees from having more funds under management.
Nor do I support Tim Wilson’s idea of letting FHBs accessing their super to buy a home.
Like all demand-side stimulus, the extra purchasing power would merely be capitalised into higher home prices, resulting in no ‘affordability’ gain and the downside of having less savings available in retirement. It would be beneficial to owners of multiple properties, like Tim Wilson, who would experience a large increase in wealth, but detrimental to the broader community.
The last thing Australia needs is to pour superannuation fuel on the Australian housing bonfire, in turn making affordability worse and reducing retirement outcomes.
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