House debates

Wednesday, 28 February 2024


Help to Buy Bill 2023, Help to Buy (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2023; Second Reading

11:52 am

Photo of Tony PasinTony Pasin (Barker, Liberal Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport) Share this | Hansard source

I'll take the interjection that it's for retirement. I have to tell you that money in a bank account ain't much good to you in retirement if you don't own your own home. That's why it's got to be home first, super second. I want Australians to use their own funds to get themselves into a home. Young Australians who are working hard and putting money away in their super should be able to access that as a deposit for their home. Those opposite—and you heard it from the member for Bennelong—are opposed to that. I think that may have something to do with the position that industry super takes in relation to this. And, of course, who runs industry super funds? Those opposite want industry super funds investing in housing stock so that they can own the homes but don't want you to use your own super to buy your own home.

While I am talking about consistent themes, I have to say that something struck me about this proposal and I thought: 'Goodness! I remember a debate like this—high on rhetoric and low on detail.' The rhetoric here is that it is a help-to-buy scheme. It sounds pretty cool. I would love help to buy a lot of things, particularly a home. But what about some of the detail? The last time we had a debate that was high on rhetoric and low on detail it was a catastrophic failure for the progressives. It was the Voice campaign. It was high on rhetoric but very low on detail.

I have some simple questions for those opposite. I think Australians are entitled to have answers to these questions. After all, this scheme is going to cost the Australian taxpayer $5.5 billion. That rolls off the tongue, but let me put it another way. It's $5,500,000,000. That is more money than you could fly a rocket ship over, and so the Australian people deserve some clear answers. What's the scheme's eligibility criteria? What happens with improvements to the home? Do you need approval before you extend the home?


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