Scott Morrison’s housing policy escalates the Liberal Party’s class war

Scott Morrison has put senior homeowners at the center of the Federal Liberal election launch, promising to allow homebuyers to leverage their retirement to purchase homes and expand access to tax breaks pension for wealthy seniors who sell their properties.

In an acknowledgment that home buying had become more difficult, Morrison announced what he called a “comprehensive housing plan.” The changes to retirement will allow more seniors to put $300,000 from the sale of a single family home into retirement by lowering the age limit to 55. It will also allow seniors to retain proceeds from home sales for two years without affecting their pension.

Morrison also adopted a policy, long pushed by enemies of retirement within liberal ranks, of allowing retirement to be accessed to buy homes: First-time home buyers will be able to raid their super balances by as much as $50,000 or 40% of your account balance. to buy houses. This will pump billions in retirement into the housing market, driving up home prices significantly.

This means that wealthy senior homeowners will enjoy the benefit of higher home sales prices and be able to access more favorable income tax treatment. It would represent a major shift in wealth from the current generation of low-income and taxpayers to wealthy retirees, and would see first-time homebuyers impoverish their retirements to fund even richer retirements for senior homeowners.

Morrison made the announcement as the centerpiece of a lengthy speech at the federal Liberal campaign launch in Brisbane. Morrison, unusually nervous in his speech to an audience slow to warm up, devoted much of his 50-minute speech (he eventually apologized for its length, but said, “I’m getting warmed up”) to cheering on the government’s handling of the pandemic. government. and the economy from 2020.

As well as a cancer center in Brisbane and the promise to build a new generation of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles have been the subject of persistent failures by Defense under the Coalition, such as the australian has repeatedly pointed out), the speech was light on new commitments.

While consistent with liberals’ long-standing hatred of retirement and their pursuit of anything that will undermine the industry’s relentless superfund growth, the fact that wealthy seniors are being targeted suggests there is an alarm bell. genuine within liberal ranks by defection of traditional liberal voters into well-outside urban electorates. With wealthy older voters in the more affluent parts of Sydney and Melbourne turning to teal independents, the Liberal operation clearly believes it needs to appeal to its financial interests as much as possible to hang on to those seats.

Yet for the young and low-income workers struggling to buy their own homes, the policy will present the illusion of increased affordability that will evaporate as a result of increased competition. As always in Australia, the real winners are the homeowners.

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