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Early super release won't fix housing, says FSC

Suggestions by the government that early access to super could be part of a May Budget package on housing affordability have drawn a sharp rebuke from the industry.


Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar, who has been tasked with tackling housing affordability in the upcoming May Budget, has suggested early access to super for first home buyers could be part of the response to addressing housing affordability.

Speaking on Sky News yesterday, Mr Sukkar acknowledged that "pumping further liquidity" into residential housing would inevitably push prices higher.

He acknowledged comments by Finance Minister Mathias Cormann in 2014 that allowing people to use their super for a deposit on a house would only serve to increase prices were "largely correct".

"[Any changes will be] finely calibrated to make sure we are not lazily pumping more money into the market," Mr Sukkar said.

"We've got to be a bit more sophisticated about it and I'm confident we will be," he said.

The Financial Services Council (FSC) was quick to dress Mr Sukkar down for failing to rule out allowing first home buyers to access their super for a house deposit.

FSC chief executive Sally Loane said withdrawing super savings to buy a house will "only further fuel the increase in house prices".

"We do not support diluting people’s retirement nest eggs to solve a housing affordability problem," Ms Loane said.

The suggestion that superannuation be used to help younger Australians enter the property market is not a new one.

The idea was floated by then federal treasurer Joe Hockey in the lead up to the 2015 Budget, and laid out in a research paper by think tank CEDA later that year.

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