Queensland Senator Matt Canavan strongly supports the use of superannuation for young people to buy their own home and has dismissed former PM Paul Keating’s criticism of the idea.
“Paul Keating says that allowing people to invest in their own home ignores the impact of compound interest. Last time I checked, property was an asset, an asset that earned around 5% a year in capital growth.
“The most important investment most people will make is to own their own home. Those that own their home on retirement tend to rely on pensions and other support, regardless of their superannuation balances.
“My position on this is well known: I am strongly in favour of young people being able to access their superannuation to help buy their first home,” Senator Canavan said. “I specifically included this in my first speech to the Senate in July.
“Why make people save for retirement before they can own their own home? We should free up the rules around superannuation so that young people can use their income and their savings to buy their first home.
“I am encouraged to see Treasurer Joe Hockey and PM Tony Abbott talking about this issue and encouraging public debate.”
Senator Canavan said some other countries already allowed use of superannuation to purchase a home, including Canada and Singapore.
“I am not arguing for direct adoption of either of those systems but they do provide practical case studies we can examine and adapt for Australia.”
He said the Coalition strongly believes in home ownership.
“We should encourage as many Australians as possible to own property. But home ownership is becoming increasingly out of reach for my generation. Unreasonable restrictions on land release are part of the reason, but that is largely a State issue.
“At the federal level, we make it harder for young people to buy their own home by forcing them to put 9.5% of their income into a savings account they may not be able to access until they are 65. We should be helping people buy their first home when they are 25, not 65.”