Nationals MP Andrew Broad says capping negative gearing would be a better approach to tackling housing affordability than allowing Australians to dip into their superannuation.
Allowing people to dip into their super would be a “lazy way to address the issue”, the Coalition backbencher told The New Daily.
“Dumb policy is dumb policy, basically,” he said.
“People don’t want us to touch superannuation. I think realistically it has no legs because it would get blocked in the Senate anyway. But more so it has no legs because it is not sound policy.
“[It] won’t work and it has negative consequences on young people’s retirement.”
The Victorian federal MP was backed up by former health minister Sussan Ley, who tweeted that young Australians “need their super for retirement”.
Young people need their super for retirement, not to try to take pressure off an urban housing bubble, better solved by decentralisation.
— Sussan Ley (@sussanley) April 12, 2017
However, plenty of other government MPs, including the Resources Minister Matt Canavan, have urged Treasurer Scott Morrison to embrace the superannuation proposal, which the government’s Expenditure Review Committee is expected to consider this week.
Instead of using super, Mr Broad said he preferred a cap on the number of homes or total dollar figure that can be negatively geared — although he was strongly opposed to Labor’s outright ban on the tax deduction.
“As long as the threshold is fairly high, you could say, once you’ve deducted more than $50,000 from negative gearing, you can’t deduct any more than that,” he said.
“We’ve got to reward people who want to buy one or two investment properties. We don’t need to have a tax regime that allows people to buy 10 or 20 and be in competition with someone who’s trying to purchase their first home and put a roof over their head.”
Meanwhile, other Coalition MPs are publicly lobbying to keep the super proposal alive, with Resources Minister Matt Canavan adding his support on Wednesday.
“This is, I think, a legitimate idea — it’s had support from people like Paul Keating in the past, it’s used in other countries, it’s something we should certainly consider,” he told the ABC.
Liberal backbenchers including John Alexander, Ian Goodenough, Tony Abbott, Tony Pasin and Craig Kelly have stated their support.
Mr Kelly told The New Daily he’d be disappointed if the policy wasn’t in the budget.
“But obviously the budget is not the only time that this change could be made,” he said.
Pointing to Australia’s declining rate of home ownership, he added: “It’s becoming harder and harder for young people to afford to get that deposit.
“I don’t think that is good for the country.”
Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar has previously said the super for housing idea could work as part of a broader suite of affordability measures, while Finance Minister Mathias Cormann is on the record as saying it would push up house prices.
Treasurer Scott Morrison is reportedly in favour of allowing Australians to divert their super into a special account, according to the ABC.
If the policy is adopted in the budget, it would still be subject to the whims of the Senate crossbench.
One Nation supports allowing people to access their super, Nick Xenophon and Jacqui Lambie are open to the idea in some form, while the Greens and Senator Derryn Hinch oppose it outright.