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Costello whacks govt on super

Peter Costello future fund
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Former Treasurer Peter Costello is warning against any changes to superannuation rules which would allow retirement savings to be used for the purchase of a first home.

The Prime Minister and the Treasurer flagged making the super system more flexible to help young home buyers.

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But Mr Costello told the ABC’s 7.30 program the Howard government looked at the idea and concluded superannuation was best used solely for retirement savings.

“This Government’s going to look at again; fair enough, things may have changed, but I think they’ll come to the same conclusion as we did,” Mr Costello said.

“If you want it to top up people’s retirement, if you want it to save the Government money and it has that dual purpose, then you probably won’t allow people to draw down on it for housing,” he said.

In a wide ranging interview, Australia’s longest serving Treasurer also took a swipe at his Liberal colleagues’ handling of the recent Intergenerational Report, saying the Abbott Government had a “conflicting narrative”.

The report warned Australia’s future prosperity will rely on people working longer and being more productive.

Mr Costello told 7.30, it was difficult to believe some projections in the report.

“I think there’s a bit of a conflicting narrative there,” he said.

“On the one hand the Government’s saying, Joe Hockey himself said, he’s going to knock us off our chairs with what was in it when we saw it.

“You’ve got to look behind an IGR and you’ve got to look at its assumptions. It’s got some interesting assumptions on pensions, some interesting assumptions on public hospitals and some very interesting assumptions in relation to taxation.”


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