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Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Page: 9611

Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) (13:19): The government will support these amendments, firstly in relation to the statutory review of the scheme. Undertaking a review of the scheme is consistent with best-practice regulation. Independent review would provide the opportunity to determine whether the scheme is meeting the needs of first home savers and operating as intended. Further, in relation to access for people who have suffered severe financial hardship, allowing those who have suffered a serious financial setback to access the scheme gives them access to the same concessions as first home savers. As such, people are effectively starting over again. It is appropriate that they be treated as being in a similar position. Requiring the commissioner to have regard to any matters specified by regulation allows the government to set clear parameters around who is eligible to use the financial hardship rule. This will ensure that access to the rule can be appropriately targeted.