A Labor plan to lower the cost of housing for low-income people would result in opposition leader Anthony Albanese effectively taking a seat at one person’s kitchen table, according to Finance Minister Simon Birmingham.
speaking on ABC insiders program, Birmingham said the Coalition’s policies are already increasing the number of first-time homebuyers.
Albanese will use his party’s campaign launch in Perth today to unveil its “help to buy” policy that will be available to up to 10,000 families a year.
Under the policy, which operates abroad and in several states, the government would contribute up to 40% of the purchase price of a new home and 30% of an existing home. In Sydney, a person can save up to $380,000 on a new home and in Melbourne they can save up to $340,000.
But Birmingham said the Coalition’s policies, whereby the government underwrites mortgage insurance to reduce initial deposits, was a better option than the one proposed by the Labor Party.
Under the Labor Party’s plan, he said people would end up sharing ownership of his home with Anthony Albanese.
“I think our policies are working, they’re helping now to really drive up first home ownership rates, it’s generating results for Australians, and most importantly, you can buy your home,” Birmingham said.
“You don’t have Mr Albanese at the kitchen table with you owning part of his house with you.”
Birmingham said the Coalition’s policy helped bring 160,000 first-time buyers to market last year.
But first-time domestic activity has dropped since early 2022. Since January last year, the number of loans taken out by first-time buyers has dropped by 38.5%.
Labor policy comes ahead of the Reserve Bank’s board meeting on Tuesday, at which it is expected to raise official interest rates to deal with inflation (which hit an annual rate of 5.1% in the March quarter). It was the highest annual rate in 22 years.
The federal budget, released on March 29, forecasts inflation to reach 4.25% this fiscal year.
Birmingham said the budget called for a “stabilization” of inflation this year, noting that most price pressures came from abroad.