Scott Morrison has made senior homeowners the centerpiece of the federal Liberal election launch, promising to empower homebuyers to loot their home purchase retirement benefits and expand access to retirement savings for wealthy seniors who sell their property.
Realizing that buying housing had become more difficult, Morrison announced what he called a “comprehensive housing plan.” The retirement changes will allow more seniors to channel $300,000 from family home sales into retirement by lowering the age limit to 55. It also allows seniors to hold home sales for two years without impacting their retirement.
Morrison has also adopted a policy — long pushed by enemies of retirement within the Liberal ranks — to allow access to retirement to buy homes: First-time home buyers will be able to loot their super balance with up to $50,000 or 40% of their account balance to buy houses. This will pump billions in pensions into the housing market, causing house prices to rise significantly.
This means that wealthy seniors who own their own home benefit from higher home sales prices and have access to more favorable tax treatment of the proceeds. It would mean a major shift of wealth from the current generation of taxpayers and low-income people to wealthy retirees, and would lead first home buyers to impoverish their pensions to fund even richer pensions for senior homeowners.
Morrison made the announcement as the centerpiece of a lengthy speech to launch the federal Liberal campaign in Brisbane. Morrison was unusually nervous in his speech to a slow-to-warm audience, devoting much of his 50-minute speech – he eventually apologized for the length, but said “I’m just getting warmed up” – to deal with the pandemic. by tightening the government and the economy since 2020.
Aside from a cancer center in Brisbane and a pledge to build a new generation of drones (UAVs have been the subject of continued failures by Defense under the coalition, such as the Australian repeatedly pointed out), the speech was light on new commitments.
While it is in line with the liberals’ longstanding hatred of pensions and their quest for anything that will undermine the industry’s relentless growth of super-funds, attacking wealthy seniors suggests there is genuine concern within the liberal ranks over the defection of traditional liberal voters into well-off urban voters. With wealthy older voters in more affluent areas of Sydney and Melbourne spilling over to the independents, it’s clear that the Liberal operation believes it must rely as much as possible on their financial interests to hold onto those seats. .
However, for low-income young people struggling to buy their own homes, the policies will create the illusion of greater affordability that will disappear as a result of increased competition. As always in Australia, homeowners are the real winners.