Lower house passes First Home Super Saver Scheme

The federal government said its plan to allow first-home buyers to save for a deposit via their superannuation won’t undermine Australia’s retirement savings system.

The Coalition used its strong numbers in parliament’s lower house to pass the measure (which was originally announced in the May budget). The legislation also allows older Aussies to contribute the proceeds of the sale of their family home to their superannuation.

Labor and the Greens are against the proposal, claiming that it will do nothing to address housing affordability. Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen argues that it will instead gradually undermine the superannuation system.

Michael Sukkar, the Assistant Minister to the Treasurer, accused Labor of deliberately spreading misconceptions about the First Home Super Saver Scheme.

“It’s quite shocking and surprising to see any political party take a view that a tax cut for first home buyers is something that they cannot support,” Sukkar said.

Labor said it won’t stand in the way of two other housing affordability bills, both of which were announced in the 2017 budget. These include limiting the deductions investors can claim in relation to residential properties and imposing an annual levy on foreigners if their properties are left vacant for at least six months during a one-year period.

The shadow treasurer insisted there was nothing to oppose because the measures were ineffective. “What we see here is some minor tinkering which won’t do anything for housing affordability,” he told parliament.