Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull appears to have shut down speculation around young first home buyers being able to access their superannuation to fund a mortgage deposit by directly referring to comments he made nearly 12 months ago that it was a "thoroughly bad idea".
With a key Cabinet committee due to discuss the housing affordability crisis in the context of next month’s Federal Budget, Turnbull used a media briefing in India late yesterday to note the tenor of the debate in Australia and to reference his earlier views on the issue, in doing so he said he believed the purpose of super was to provide for retirement.
Turnbull's comments came as elements of the superannuation industry signaled they were gearing up for a campaign opposing such a Budget measure and as senior academics described the proposal as both cynical and short-sighted.
Divisions have emerged in the Federal Government coalition over the move and the Federal Opposition leader, Bill Shorten, has committed the Labor Party to opposing any such measure in the Parliament.
The attitude expressed by the Opposition and the Greens suggests the Government would be heavily reliant on the independents in the Senate to secure passage of such a measure.