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Thursday, 4 April 2019
Page: 14929

Housing Affordability

Dear Mrs Wicks

Standing Committee on Petitions Request - EN0717

Thank you for your correspondence of 22 October 2018 concerning the petition to consider allowing first home buyers to withdraw the entirety of their superannuation savings in order to purchase a house. I sincerely apologise for the delay in responding.

Allowing people to purchase a first home with all of the savings in their superannuation account would be counter to the key objective of the superannuation system, which is to provide income in retirement to substitute or supplement the Age Pension.

The most important issue for first home buyer affordability is the size of the deposit required to enter the housing market. The Government's First Home Superannuation Saver Scheme (the Scheme) is aimed at helping first home buyers save for a deposit within their superannuation by making additional voluntary contributions. While the exact outcome will depend on an individual's income and how long their savings are in the Scheme, most first home savers using the Scheme will be able to boost their savings by at least 30 per cent.

Furthermore, first home buyers also tend to have low superannuation balances, limiting the usefulness of the suggestion to enable the withdrawal of all superannuation savings for first home buyers.

With regards to the request to reduce stamp duty and other associated taxes for first home buyers, most if not all of the taxes referenced are levied by State Governments. As stamp duty and other associated taxes are State government based charges, the Commonwealth Government is unable to interfere in their application and provide an exemption for first home owners, or increase their application for investors.

I would encourage you and the signatories to the petition to raise your concerns on the levying of stamp duties and related taxes with the relevant State and Territory Treasurers.

Itrust this information will be of assistance to you.

Yours sincerely

from the Assistant Minister for Treasury and Finance, Senator Seselja(Petition No. EN0717)