Transcript 2gb’s Ben Fordham Interview With Senator Andrew Bragg

Ben Fordham:        Now, it's ten past six and there are calls to bring back the"Early Access to Super Scheme". When coronavirus hit, those who'd lost their job or lost hours of work were allowed to make two withdrawals of up to ten thousand dollars from their super. More than three million of us took out 36 billion dollars. And the Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg, says the scheme was such a success, we should do it all again. The Liberal Senator, Andrew Bragg, is on the line. Good morning to you, Andrew.  

Andrew Bragg:       G'day Ben, how are you?  

Ben Fordham:         I'm well. So what should we be able to access our super for?

Andrew Bragg:       Well Ben, I think the Early Release Scheme, as you say, was very successful during the pandemic, and it showed people that super is real money, it's not monopoly money. And I think that was very engaging and that's a good thing. And I think we should be open minded about opening up again, especially to help people get into the first home market. I think first home ownership isa very important objective for Australians. Very good to have a roof over your head and see if it can help do that.

Ben Fordham:        It really holds people back in a way, doesn't it? If they've got the money there, they've got the house or the unit they want to buy, but they're not allowed to touch their own cash.  

Andrew Bragg:       Well, I think especially for lower income people, it's a real trade-off between having your money stuck in a super fund where the funds are charging high fees and not being able to access that money for a first time deposit, so, I mean, Labor hates this policy because they like to do the bidding of the big unions and super funds. But I think for many lower income people, it's a real trade off, so we should be open minded about opening up super for this purpose.

Ben Fordham:        We have been a bit more flexible in recent times, even allowing people to access their super if they have to undergo a medical procedure. So apart from buying a home, what are the other circumstances where you see people should be allowed to get access to it?  

Andrew Bragg:       Well, I mean, people can already use it for IVF, lap band surgery and a whole lot of other things. So, I mean, personally, I just think homeownership is such an important thing for people. We had an Inquiry last year into the Retirement Income System and that said that the most important thing to have security in retirement is to own your own house. So I just think that that is where we should start. The political, you know, resistance to this is very high Ben because Labor has so much money at stake in terms of the donations they receive from super funds and the like, so starting with first home ownership and let's say how we go from there.

Ben Fordham:        We appreciate you jumping on the line, so politicians don't have the day off today, do they?

Andrew Bragg:       No, I am going to the gym now.

Ben Fordham:         Good to talk to you, Andrew.Thanks for your time.

Andrew Bragg:       See ya. Bye. 

Ben Fordham:         Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg


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