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The latest ideas to use super to buy homes are still bad ideas

The Grattan Institute’s John Daley and Brendan Coates write in The Conversation (22.3.17) that the latest thought bubbles from the federal Treasurer about using super savings for housing might be less harmful than in the past, but they would be just as ineffective.

‘Treasurer Scott Morrison wants to use the May budget to ease growing community anxiety about housing affordability. Lots of ideas are being thrown about: the test for the Treasurer is to sort the good from the bad. Reports that the government was again considering using superannuation to help first homebuyers won’t inspire confidence.

‘It’s not the first time a policy like this has been floated within government. While these latest ideas to use super to help first homebuyers are marginally less bad than proposals from 2015, our research shows they still wouldn’t make much difference to housing affordability.

‘… The federal government has little control over planning rules, which are administered by state and local governments. But it can provide incentives to those tiers of government, if it is looking to do something that would really improve home ownership.

‘While there are plenty of ideas to improve affordability, only a few will make a real difference, and these are politically hard. In the meantime, the latest thought bubbles about using super savings for housing might be less bad than in the past, but they would be just as ineffective.’

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