Television Interview with Michael Rowland – ABC News Breakfast – Monday 16 May 2022

MONDAY, 16 MAY 2022

SUBJECTS: Government’s superannuation housing announcement; Fire the liar.
MICHAEL ROWLAND, HOST: Labor spokesman Jason Clare joins us now from Sydney. Jason Clare, good morning to you. What is wrong with allowing young homebuyers to dip into their super to fast track their dream of getting into the housing market?
JASON CLARE, LABOR CAMPAIGN SPOKESPERSON: Well, I think you nailed it in that introduction. It just pushes prices up. This is like throwing kerosene on a bonfire. In Sydney, where we’re talking today from, well, where I am here, the expectation is it would increase the cost of a home here in Sydney by $134,000. Michael, this is the last desperate act of a dying government. If they really thought this was a good idea here, do you think they’d have just planned it six days before an election? They’ve been in office now for almost a decade. If they thought this was a good idea seriously, they would have done this years ago. But the fact is, every Liberal leader that’s looked at this, whether it’s people like John Howard or Peter Costello, or Malcolm Turnbull, or even Mathias Cormann, have looked at this and worked out that it would make it harder for people to buy a home, not easier because it would push prices up.
ROWLAND: Jane Hume doing the media rounds this morning has also considered the policy will result in what she described as a short-term bump in house prices, but it wouldn’t last. What do you say to that?
CLARE: Well, have a look at the evidence from the Grattan Institute, have a look at the evidence from Industry Super, that shows that it would push prices up. The other problem with this, Michael is we’ve got Scott Morrison here saying that he wants people to be able to drain their super, the Australians who are struggling to buy a home at the moment, most of them don’t have much in super.  The average person in their 20s has only got about 20 grand in their super, some of them a lot less. The biggest drop in homeownership that we’ve seen over the course of the last 40 years, has been from people in their 20s and their 30s on low incomes. If we could get in a time machine and go back to the days of Bob Hawke, you’d find about 60% of young Aussies on low incomes owned their own home. Now it’s down to 28%. And guess what, those same young Australians don’t have very much in their superannuation accounts. They either drained it during the pandemic, because they were forced to because this government didn’t help them, or they didn’t have much super in the first place. So if the government thinks that this is going to help them, they’re wrong. You need a different solution for that, and that’s what our Help to Buy plan is all about, with the government helping people on lower incomes to be able to live in a home that they own, rather than renting for the rest of their life.
ROWLAND: But how is that different from what the Coalition is proposing? Won’t that, Labor’s policy also play a role in putting a floor under the market and possibly boosting prices?
CLARE: Big difference here, you know, that is a targeted intervention of 10,000 spots for people on low incomes, that’ll help them to be able to own a home rather than renting for the rest of their life. The difference with what Scott Morrison is talking about here, think about this, you’ve got two young couples off to an auction. Both come armed with their superannuation, and their superannuation supercharges the bidding war, the price goes up and up and up. The only winner at the end of the day in that auction is the person selling the home who gets a bigger price. The person that wins the auction and buys the home ends up paying a higher price. They end up having a bigger mortgage, and they’ve got less money left in their superannuation account at the end of the day.
ROWLAND: Okay, we’re heading into the final five days of the election campaign. Based on all those opinion polls, Jason Clare in your view, is this Labor’s now to lose?
CLARE: Well, the next week is really important.  Australians have got a big choice to make this weekend. It’s a choice between a better future under Labor and more Scott Morrison. I think Australians, as they think about this would be thinking, do you really want to wake up on Sunday morning and roll over and see Scott Morrison? I don’t think Australians want that to happen. Last week, Scott Morrison said that he would change, that things would be better, that they’d be different. Most Australians when they looked at that, when they heard that, I think shook their head and realised that this bloke is not telling them the truth. I had someone, Michael at prepoll on the weekend say to me that that just reminded them of a bad ex-boyfriend, who promised to be different next time. Australians can see through the lies and see through the spin of Scott Morrison, and I think a lot of Australians will form the view over the next few days and on Saturday, that it’s time to fire the liar.
ROWLAND: Okay, just finally is Labor’s candidate, in fact Labor’s star candidate for the seat of Parramatta in Sydney, Andrew Charlton, in trouble for allegedly providing a false or the wrong address to the Australian Electoral Commission.
CLARE: I think Andrew’s acknowledged that he should have updated the roll quicker when he moved from one residence to another, and I think there’s a $220 fine to be paid for that. He’s acknowledged that he made a mistake there and will pay that fine.
ROWLAND: Okay. As far as you know, is there an investigation as well underway by the Commission?
CLARE: No, not that I’m aware of and I think this is a bit different from the cases we’ve seen in the Liberal Party where you’ve got people saying that they’re living at some address, and you turn up there and no one’s living there and that’s why the Federal Police are investigating those cases.
ROWLAND: Okay, Jason Clare, we’ll leave it there. Thanks for joining us
CLARE: Thanks mate.