Scott Morrison’s housing policy intensifies the Liberal Party’s class warfare

Scott Morrison made senior homeowners the focus of the launch of the liberal federal election, promising to allow homebuyers to raid their retirement home purchase and expanding access to retirement tax breaks for wealthy seniors. who sell their properties.

Recognizing that buying housing had become more difficult, Morrison announced what he called a “comprehensive housing plan.” The superannuation changes will allow older seniors to direct $ 300,000 from the sale of a family home to retirement pension by lowering the age limit to 55. They will also allow seniors to withhold proceeds from home sales for two years without affecting their retirement.

Morrison has also adopted a policy – long pushed by retirement enemies within the liberal ranks – of allowing access to retirement for home purchases: first-home buyers will be able to raid their super balances of up to $ 50,000. or 40% of their account balance to buy houses. This will fuel billions of pensions in the housing market, significantly pushing house prices up.

This means that wealthy elderly homeowners will enjoy the advantage of higher home sales prices and access more favorable tax treatment of proceeds. It would represent a major shift in wealth from the current generation of taxpayers and low-income workers to affluent retirees, and would see first-home buyers impose their retirements to fund even more affluent pensions for older homeowners.

Morrison made the announcement as the centerpiece of a lengthy speech at the launch of the federal liberal campaign in Brisbane. Unusually nervous in his speech to a slow to warm audience, Morrison devoted much of his 50-minute speech – he eventually apologized for the length, but said “I’m just warming up” – to annoy the pandemic’s handling from part of the government and economy from 2020.

Aside from a cancer center in Brisbane and the promise to build a new generation of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles have been the subject of persistent failures by the Defense under the Coalition, such as The Australian he repeatedly stressed), the speech was light on the new commitments.

While it is consistent with liberals’ long-term hatred of retirement and their pursuit of anything that could undermine the unstoppable growth of the industry’s super-funds, the targeting of wealthy seniors suggests that there is a real alarm at all. inside the liberal ranks for defection of traditional liberal voters in well – out urban voters. With wealthy older voters in affluent parts of Sydney and Melbourne defecting to teal independents, the Liberal operation clearly believes it needs to appeal to their financial interests as much as possible to hold on to those seats.

For young people and low-income workers struggling to buy their homes, however, the policy will present the illusion of greater affordability that will vanish due to increased competition. As always in Australia, the real winners are the homeowners.