Federal election 2022: Morrison again dodges questions on house price impact of superannuation policy

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Peter LawThe West Australian
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Scott Morrison has refused to answer questions for a second consecutive day about the impact on house prices of the Coalition’s flagship re-election policy.

The Prime Minister and his wife Jenny visited a housing estate a 30 minute drive from Darwin in the seat Lingiari, held by Labor on a 5.5 per cent margin.

He was there to again spruik the Government’s plan to let first home buyers access up to $50,000 of their superannuation towards a deposit.

Mr Morrison went on the attack after Labor’s foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong earlier described the proposed scheme as a “gamble”.

DARWIN, AUSTRALIA - MAY 17: Prime Minister Scott Morrison visits the Alpha Homes Display Home in the suburb of Johnston, which is in the Lingiari electorate, on May 17, 2022 in Darwin, Australia. The Australian federal election will be held on Saturday 21 May. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
Camera IconPrime Minister Scott Morrison visited the Alpha Homes Display Home in the Lingiari electorate. Credit: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images

Standing in a display home, he told reporters: “I was disappointed yesterday when I heard Penny Wong talk about this policy saying people would take a gamble on their on their house. A gamble?

“The most important investment you make in your entire life as a family is owning your own home. If Labor thinks that’s a gamble, then they have lost touch completely with the aspirations and goals of Australian families, who their first objective is to ensure that they can own a home.”

But repeatedly asked why he wouldn’t release Coalition modelling on the impact to house prices from the policy, the PM deferred to vague remarks made by Josh Frydenberg earlier in the morning.

Pressed on the modelling, the Federal Treasurer said there were $700 billion worth of private residential property transactions every year and giving first-home buyers access to a portion of their super would add $5 billion.

“That is why the Property Council have said that this is fairly targeted and that they’re not expecting to see an inflationary impact on prices that is material,” Mr Frydenberg said, while again failing to release the Coalition’s own modelling.

This prompted one reporter, flipping the PM’s main criticism of Labor leader Anthony Albanese on its head, to ask Mr Morrison if he was being “a loose unit with the economy?”

Mr Morrison has continued to use the final days of the six week election campaign to focus on new housing estates in Australia’s outer suburbs, appealing to the “aspirations” of younger voters.

Property experts told The West Australian that letting first-home buyers use their superannuation will boost Perth’s median house price by between 3 and 10 per cent, and shave years off the time it usually takes to save a deposit.

WA Premier Mark McGowan, however, has joined a chorus of criticism from Labor, describing the policy as “economic vandalism”.

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