Superannuation housing plan divides Turnbull Government


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TURNBULL Government Minister Christopher Pyne has issued a stern rebuke to his colleagues publicly debating whether to allow young people early access to superannuation to buy a house.

The Prime Minister returns from India today to a party divided over the plan.

Mr Turnbull will chair a meeting of the budget’s razor gang in Sydney today, where the proposal will be up for debate.

Ahead of the meeting, the Defence Industry Minister said anyone who wished to “fiddle” with retirement savings was putting Australia’s enviable superannuation system at risk.


But he warned colleagues the debate should be held behind closed doors.

“It’s a great pity that colleagues run these debates publicly whether they attach their names to them, which I think is much more respectable, or do so anonymously,” Mr Pyne told ABC radio this morning.

“The Budget process should be managed behind closed doors and on Budget night it should be revealed to the people.”

Mr Pyne backed the Prime Minister who yesterday referred to his previous comments that allowing early access to super was a “thoroughly bad idea”.

“The Prime Minister has restated our policy which is that we have no policy to allow superannuation to be used for housing,” he said.

“Superannuation has a particular role. It is a retirement income.

“Our superannuation system is the envy of the world and those people who seek to fiddle with it are putting that at risk.


“There is no evidence to suggest that if superannuation was able to be used for housing that that would somehow bring house prices down.

“There is evidence on the other side of the ledger which suggest that all that would happen in fact was that house prices would continue to go up and that the person selling the house would simply take that person’s super as increased house prices.

“Those people who want to have these debates in public, they need to understand they are better held behind closed doors.”

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton also backed the Prime Minister this morning, telling 2GB radio this morning that the plan was a bad idea.

Cabinet Ministers and the Coalition backbench are publicly split on the controversial proposal to allow early access to superannuation to help young people get into the housing market.

It’s believed ministers responsible for housing policy including Treasurer Scott Morrison, Assistant Minister to the Treasurer Michael Sukkar, Minister for Cities Angus Taylor and Assistant Minister for Social Services Zed Seselja are in favour of the plan, The Australian reports.


Resources Minister Matt Canavan and backbenchers including former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, WA MP Ian Goodenough and SA MP Tony Pasin have also publicly announced their support for the idea over the past two days.

But Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer and the Prime Minister have previously said they did not back the plan.


It’s understood the scheme going before the Expenditure Review Committee today would allow first home buyers to put three years of superannuation contributions towards a home savings account, provided they put an equal amount of their personal savings towards a deposit.

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen said the “dysfunction and chaos” within the Turnbull Government had fallen to a new low with ministers publicly undermining Mr Turnbull’s position.

Mr Bowen said Treasurer Scott Morrison’s position was “untenable” after his part in the debate.

“Here he is actually seriously recommending to his colleagues that they adopt a position which will make housing affordability worse and undermine retirement incomes at the same time,” Mr Bowen said.

“Expert after expert has canned this idea, credible economists have come out and pointed out what the Labor Party has been arguing.

“It says a lot that the Treasurer of Australia would contemplate this idea, let alone recommend it to colleagues.”

Online Source: The News

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