Scrap your dangerous plans for first home buyers to use superannuation for housing deposits and instead push for the real solutions to housing affordability.
This petition had 933 supporters
Hi, my name is Matt, and I'm one of many young Australians currently locked out of home ownership by record high prices. Nick Xenophon has recently announced plans to introduce a bill that would allow first home buyers access to their superannuation savings in order to help fund a home loan deposit. His plan is based on the Canadian Home Buyer’s Plan. But Senator Xenophon has clearly failed to do his homework, because the scheme actually worsened housing affordability, with Canada now one of only two countries in the world more overvalued than Australia. In fact, the politician responsible for this Canadian policy disaster recently decried the scheme, and openly admitted that it was actually designed to stop house prices from falling.
This dangerous scheme, which has been condemned by media, economists and housing experts, will simply be the latest government intervention to ensure that house prices remain forever out of reach from a whole generation, and to prevent market forces from returning house prices to rational levels. Additionally, this plan will massively endanger the retirement savings of young Australians, as proven by the 35% of Canadian participants that have not paid back their retirement funds in the allowed time-frame, and further highlighted by existing rules in Australian allowing self-managed super funds to invest in property - a practice in which some participants have lost up to 75% of their investment and have gone bankrupt.
Housing affordability is the single biggest issue facing the current generation of young Australians and has devastated their ability to establish families and secure their future. They are being held to ransom by a system that wants to maintain high prices at any cost. Like most Australian politicians, Nick Xenophon stands to benefit from the rise in prices that this policy will cause, having personal interests in 8 investment properties and associated mortgages. The motivation for this policy must therefore be openly questioned and viewed with scepticism. Politicians of all stripes have recently been shown to possess vested interests in property investments totalling about $300 million.
So is it any surprise that despite decades of attention and research on the issue, politicians have repeatedly passed policies to ensure that ever increasing values are enjoyed by existing landowners (including themselves), rather than ensuring reasonable access to all. We have been sold down the river on a boat of lifelong crippling and dangerous mortgages with promises of future price rises, price rises that even the RBA admits will be hard to come by in future, and will therefore need to be supported by devious policies such as this.
Young Australians have endured decades of myths about the causes and solutions for high house prices, and have been lectured by countless politicians, economists, bankers, spruikers and landowners of the need to “just save more and expect less”. They believe that young Australians don’t understand basic economics and will continue to vote for policies that are against their own interests. But young people know that affordable housing is a crucial aspect of a healthy economy, and that there are many obvious solutions.
They could start with scrapping negative gearing on investment property, a policy that has added at least an estimated 9% ($44,000) to current median values, and coupled with capital gains tax concessions, has fuelled 2 decades of speculative demand for housing and cost taxpayers billions every year. We know that housing supply must be freed up, and the obstructive urban planning system reformed. We want proper oversight of foreign ownership laws and the banning of self-managed super funds from investing in housing. We want punitive and inefficient stamp duties to be replaced with a broad based land tax. The list goes on. If Nick Xenophon were serious about housing affordability, he would advocate for any or all of these well researched solutions, but they would directly threaten his personal investments, so they’re not likely to be considered.
How much longer will young Australians be punished for being born on the wrong side of the current 20 year housing boom? Don’t let policy makers convince you that there are no solutions, or worse, that throwing more money at young people won’t just get absorbed into prices and fuel excessive demand like all the other ‘free’ cash for housing. Instead, let’s view this is a rare opportunity for an independent senator to challenge the status quo and push for real change.
It’s long overdue, it’s time now. Let’s make this petition viral and deliver it to every politician in Canberra, every newspaper in the country, and every hard-working blogger that writes about these issues on a daily basis. We must send politicians like Nick Xenophon a very strong message that we are many, we are watching, we vote, and we will not be taken for fools.
It’s time that the Australian government and Australian politicians finally stood up for the mountains of evidence and research into the real causes and solutions for housing affordability in this country. It’s time that young Australians told politicians that we DO understand the real causes of sky-high house prices, and we will NOT be conned by yet another policy designed to keep prices rising forever. We must let them know that there are real solutions that get ignored time and time again, and that we suspect that the protection of personal and political interests is the only reason that they are ignored.
We know that Australia’s future economic stability, prosperity and equality depends on solving the housing affordability crisis, and it’s time to listen to the evidence and for the first time in history, pass a policy that represents the interests of the 4.5 million voters that don’t own a home.
Thank you for taking part, a generation of excluded Australians will be grateful for your support. For full details of the causes of and solutions to lack of housing affordability, along with a complete list of references, please visit my blog Rational Radical.
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