Former Treasurer Peter Costello believes it is high time for the Coalition to look into opening up superannuation to homebuyers, a proposal that the Howard government decided against in the 1990s.
Costello recently told an ABC
program that it was “fair enough” to consider the idea again, which has been around for a long time.
“Well, look, this idea has been around for a long time …every generation thinks it invented the wheel. But I think they will come to the same conclusion as we did: that if you wanted to top up people's retirement, if you wanted to save the government money ... then you probably won't allow people to draw down on it for housing,” he advised.
However, for AMP chief executive Craig Meller, “allowing first home buyers to dip into their retirement savings for property purchases will undermine Australians' confidence in the superannuation system”.
Meller argued that while housing affordability and long-term retirement savings were significant issues that needed to be addressed, “solving one by making the other worse doesn't sound like a good outcome”.
“At the end of the day, people need certainty given the current environment and the long-term nature of retirement savings,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“Continuous change or even talk of change to superannuation undermines confidence in the system.”
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