Paul Keating blasts proposed changes to superannuation

Paul Keating doesn't think using superannuation for housing is a super idea.
Paul Keating as he appeared during an interview on ABC.

Paul Keating has called a plan to allow superannuation to buy housing as ‘scandalous’.

The former Prime Minster told Fairfax Media it would drive up prices, would permanently gut retirement nest eggs for the under 40s and would compromise the optimal investment profiles of the super funds themselves.

Sydney Morning Herald reported he has linked what he called the “policy bankruptcy” of the idea with the Coalition’s treatment of Medicare, calling the programs the two great community standards that the Liberal Party “has done everything in its power to either thwart or destroy”.

Writing exclusively for Fairfax Media, Mr Keating said as an economic idea, this was scandalous.

“But, of course, for the Liberal Party, this is an ideological proposal,” he said.

“You don’t expect conservative parties to believe in much, but you do expect them to believe in thrift.  

“And when a Labor government comes along and, in a co-operative way, encourages the workforce to save for their retirement, you would think any true conservative party would be eternally grateful.

“Instead the Liberal Party, limited by its ideological snakiness, continues biting at superannuation, as it does, periodically, Medicare.”

While the government is yet to determine its final position, some backbenchers believe accessing wealth locked up in superannuation could solve a worsening housing affordability gap, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Last week Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar made a case for allowing first homebuyers to access their superannuation, saying it could work so long as it was part of a broader package which increased housing supply.

Mr Sukkar, working on the government’s housing affordability package for the May 9 budget, agreed with comments made by Finance Minister Mathias Cormann in 2014 that the super option in isolation would only drive up house prices because it would pump more liquidity in the market.

While not confirming if the super option would be in the budget, Mr Sukkar said, it could work so long as supply was also increased, reports the Financial Review

“Anything you do on the demand side of the ledger..will be finely calibrated to make sure we are not lazily pumping more money into the market,” he said.

“We’ve got to be a bit more sophisticated about it and I’m confident we will be.”

What plans do you have for your superannuation?

  1. Guy Flavell  

    Paul Keating is absolutely correct on this matter. Superannuation is for our
    retirement ONLY. Allowing it to be eroded for other purposes completely
    defeats its objective of Australians not having to rely on the Government’s
    purse in their retirement years. The Government should be spending more
    time on addressing items like negative gearing, capital gains tax, overseas
    property investors, developers’ and real estate agents’ GREED, etc. to really
    solve the problem of housing affordability throughout OZ.

  2. Lynne  

    I agree with you Guy…. I think you will find that the overseas investors are pushing the prices up. The sad thing that people don’t realise that if you punish the ‘mum and dad’ investors by taking away negative gearing you will be hitting the people who rent, thus making it a hot bed for rents to sky rocket……we make so little out of investment it’s hardly worth the

  3. Therese  

    Leave Superannuation alone- govt, since its introduction are spending too much time trying to work out how they can get their hands on it. Legislate so that the funds can buy our utilities back. Use it to keep large rural properties majority Australian owned.
    Allowing young people to access their super for a home will then have them dependent on retirement as they won’t have enough super. The same position a large number of baby boomers are in as we didn’t have super till later in our working life

    • Fay  

      Oh so true Therese! Leave superannuation alone government.

    • Greg Hills  

      We cannot believe anything an LNP politician says. Remember Tony Abbott’s election promises! They cannot be trusted to lie straight in bed, let alone running our country.

  4. Susie Musker  

    Good on you Paul. We miss your concise intelligent thinking. So lacking these days – no leadership shown, one to believe in or trust, vested interests, greed etc. Sad times….

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