Scott Morrison, Anthony Albanese continue campaigns; the first-time buyer retirement policy criticized by Labour; Michael Sukkar defends the Coalition’s housing policy; Albanians champion universal childcare, paid parental leave and COVID royal commission

Federal Housing Minister Michael Sukkar has defended the Coalition’s new retirement policy, saying critics just want to “control” people’s retirement.

The home super policy would allow first-time homebuyers to use up to 40 percent of their retirement (no more than $50,000) for a deposit to enter the housing market if the Coalition wins the election and passes legislation to launch the plan. from July next year.

Housing Minister Michael Sukkar. Credit:James Brickwood

“I think we’ve had overwhelming support from first-time homebuyers and people in the industry,” Sukkar told Sydney-based radio station 2GB.

“I think the usual suspects with vested interests in the system who see retirement money as their money and not their money are criticizing the plan.

“But fundamentally we believe that the supermarket belongs to the people, it belongs to them, it’s their money and they should be able to use it however they want.”

Charging

Sukkar said the scheme was designed to combat the most difficult element of buying a home – saving a deposit – and called it a “well-calibrated policy” as it requires first-time homebuyers to pay back the money they have withdrawn from their retirement if they sell their house.

“This policy really allows for the best of both worlds. It allows you to use a portion of your pension while you need it…and then when you finally sell that property, you put it back in and a portion of any earnings goes back into the pension, so it keeps the balance,” he said.

“We know that, on average, first-time homebuyers will hold their first home for eight years, so in that time they should, and historically will have built up equity appreciation on their home.”

Yesterday, the Financial Services Council, which represents superannuation funds, financial advisers and life insurers, warned that house prices could rise under the scheme without increasing supply, given the potential flood of new buyers.

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