House debates

Monday, 2 December 2019

Questions without Notice

Housing Affordability

2:54 pm

Photo of Lucy WicksLucy Wicks (Robertson, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer. Will the minister outline to the House the Morrison government's achievements in getting Australians into their first home and how the government will continue to work in a stable and certain way to address the real issue of housing affordability, and is the minister aware of any alternative policies?

Photo of Michael SukkarMichael Sukkar (Deakin, Liberal Party, Assistant Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Robertson for her question. Every member on this side of the parliament, from the Prime Minister downwards, believes that every single Australian who aspires to own a home should be able to do so, and we believe that we should provide safe and secure housing, where possible, to everybody across the housing spectrum.

In relation to first home buyers, though, we are progressing with our signature policy that was taken to the election, the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, a policy which will enable 10,000 first home buyers to get into the market with a deposit of as little as five per cent. We know, on this side of the House, that the big challenge for people who are trying to get into the housing market is saving that deposit. It's taking 10 years in Sydney to save a deposit for an average home and eight years in Melbourne to save for that deposit. So this First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, from 1 January, will deliver 10,000 guarantees per annum to help those people into the market. This builds on the First Home Super Saver Scheme, which enables first home buyers to save tax through superannuation, again to help them save that deposit more quickly. Shamefully, the Labor Party voted against the First Home Super Saver Scheme and promised, at the election, to repeal the policy. It's helped 5,000 first home buyers accelerate their deposit.

In addition, we are trying to support older Australians, removing the impediments to downsizing. We've helped 6,000 senior Australians downsize from their family homes by contributing up to $300,000 into their superannuation fund, removing one of the biggest impediments to those people who are living in their family homes. In addition to all of that, last week we had the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation issue a bond of $315 million—the second bond issuance of that amount—which funnels cheap debt into the hands of community housing providers who provide social and affordable housing throughout our country. In its first 12 months, it's delivered well over 1,000 additional social and affordable dwellings.

That's what we've been doing on this side of the House. I'm asked by the member for Robertson about alternative policies. I suppose it's no surprise to the House that, last week, there was an article in theAFR titled 'Labor's negative gearing policy not dead yet'. The shadow minister for housing is obviously in the corner with the shadow Treasurer fighting the Leader of the Opposition to hold onto those $387 billion of taxes. The Australian people delivered their verdict on your housing taxes, and I'd suggest that the Leader of the Opposition speak to the shadow housing minister— (Time expired)