Bowen confirms ALP rejection of Govt’s super saver scheme

The Federal Opposition has declared it will oppose the Government’s First Home Owners Super Savers scheme, declaring it to be “highly objectionable” and counter-productive to housing affordability.

The Labor Party’s determination to block passage of the necessary legislation in the Parliament was declared by the Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen, who said that the scheme, announced in last week’s Budget, was badly designed and ill-thought out.

“We know the Government dabbled with all sorts of hair brained plans to allow access to superannuation,” he told the National Press Club. “The eventual model they settled on, allowing voluntary contributions to be withdrawn by first home buyers will not make a jot of difference for the vast majority of first home buyers.”

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“Without negative gearing and supply-side reform, if it has any impact at all, it will simply drive up prices. It is badly designed and ill-thought out.”

The Opposition Treasury spokesman also questioned the workability of the scheme, noting that how voluntary contributions would be kept distinct from compulsory contributions in a downturn when balances could contract was beyond him.

“They can’t be,” he said.

Bowen also derided the Super Savers scheme as running contrary to the Government’s declared purpose of superannuation – to substitute or supplement the Age Pension”.

“The whole idea of an objective is to have a benchmark against which proposed changes to super can be judged,” he said. “And yet the Government’s first proposed legislative change since announcing their preferred objective would undermine the goal of providing income in retirement.”

“Labor will oppose this ill-thought out and counter-productive plan,” Bowen said. “Taken as a whole, far from helping young people with housing affordability, the budget substantially worsens the situation.”

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