ALLISON LANGDON: The Prime Minister joins us now in Brisbane. Prime Minister, good morning.
PRIME MINISTER: G’day, Ally.
LANGDON: Nice to see you. So look, after nine years in Government and three as Prime Minister, why are you only just warming up?
PRIME MINISTER: Well, at the last election, I said I wanted to ensure people could get more into their own home. And 300,000 Australians have been able to get into their own home because of the Home Guarantee Scheme we had, the HomeBuilder Scheme, the First Home Super Saver. And at this election, what I’m saying is I want to go one step further. We want to do two things. We want to ensure that those who are downsizing at the other end after they’ve had their home, we want to make sure that that frees up more housing for people to buy, which helps put downward pressure on prices. And the other one is we want people to be able to access their own savings. Remember, it’s your own money, you’ve earned it, you’ve saved it, it’s in your superannuation account and we want you to be able to access that for your deposit so you pay less interest, you’ve got an opportunity to get into the housing market and when you sell your house you put that back into your superannuation to ensure that your superannuation and your retirement savings are preserved. You can’t have people waiting on the sidelines.
LANGDON: Look, you’ve upset Paul Keating with this one, haven’t you?
PRIME MINISTER: Sorry?
LANGDON: You’ve upset Paul Keating with this one.
PRIME MINISTER: Well, I’m not surprised. That didn’t surprise me at all. And the Labor Party, they oppose this. The only way that you’re going to be able to get access to your superannuation, your money to help you get into a housing market is by voting Liberal or National. The Labor Party will never let you do it. They don’t think it’s your money. They think it’s it’s the Government’s money or it’s the superannuation funds money. No, it’s yours and we want you to use your money to buy your home. Anthony Albanese, he wants the Government to buy you a home. I don’t want that. I want you to own your own home.
LANGDON: Okay. So say, say you buy a $1 million home. I’m just using that figure for simplicity. The $50K that you pull out of your super book will cover stamp duty. So that’s money that will go straight back to the Government. Not yours, but Government.
PRIME MINISTER: Well, that’s a state government tax, you know, but when you buy your house, what happens is, you know, as your house increases in value, the $50,000 as a share of the total purchase price. If you sell it for $1.2 or $1.1 [million] or then you just take what you put in, plus the capital appreciation, you put that back in your superannuation. So that means your superannuation is growing. It’s basically your own superannuation investing in your own home. Now if you have a self-managed super fund, you can actually do that now to buy an investment property. And they do this in New Zealand, they do it in Canada and other places. So it’s a smart policy which says use your own money to help you get ahead. Labor wants to tell you what to do your own, with your own money. They want to stop you from doing with your own money what you should be able to do yourself. And it’s the same with taxes. It’s why we believe in lower taxes, because we believe you should keep more of what you earn. And that’s what this election is about. You being back in the driver’s seat. We’re over the Government telling us all what to do after these years. It’s time for Australians to be back in the driver’s seat. People running their own businesses, people running their own lives. We’ve had enough of governments telling people what to do with their own money and and how they should, where they can go and what they can do.
LANGDON: But isn’t there a reason that John Howard, Peter Costello and Malcolm Turnbull have all rejected this policy previously?
PRIME MINISTER: John Howard, I was with him yesterday and he thought it was an absolutely fantastic policy, as did Tony Abbott, who was with me yesterday. Because what it does is, as we go into this next period and we put the pandemic behind us, this is really enabling people to realise their aspirations, which is what my passion is going into this election. We’ve been through the hard slog.
LANGDON: But if we don’t address the supply issues that you have with housing, isn’t it just going to simply drive up costs?
PRIME MINISTER: Well, that’s why we’ve got to Downsizer Policy, Ally. That’s why we’re encouraging people at the other end, as they’re moving post 55, I’m almost there just a year away now. When you downsize, that is freeing up housing stock, not just in other areas, but in established areas of our cities where people are finding it hard to get stock to buy. So we’re dealing with both sides. But I agree with you. We need to see more houses built. That’s why we did the Homebuilder Program during the pandemic. You know, we had 164,000 people buy their first home last year. That’s up from an average of just over 100,000. So people are getting it done under our policies. Despite the fact house prices are rising and I want to keep helping them do that with their own money.
LANGDON: Okay, look, this promise of a different you after the election. Have we not had the real Scott Morrison?
PRIME MINISTER: Of course we have, the strong leader, and yes, I can be a bit of a bulldozer, and that’s certainly what we’ve needed to get through these difficult times. What I’m talking about is as we go forward, we’re going into a period of real great opportunity and I’m looking forward to moving into that gear. Over the last three years, we’ve been setting up that opportunity as we’ve been fighting the pandemic. But that strength that people know will still be there. The strength that stopped the boats, the strength that actually got the Budget back into balance before the pandemic hit when I was Treasurer, and the strength that has taken us through the worst pandemic we’ve seen in 100 years and put Australia’s economy at the head of the pack of advanced economies around the world and got unemployment down to 4 per cent. You need the strength, but you also need the optimism, and you need the passion to secure the opportunities and that’s where we’re going.
LANGDON: What you’ve actually said, right, you said that during the pandemic, what you’re saying right now, we needed your strength, we needed your protection. Now in a time of opportunity, we need your encouragement, your facilitation and enthusiasm. I mean, do you really feel that way about the Australian people? Are we really that helpless?
PRIME MINISTER: No, that’s not how, no that’s not what I’m describing and I wouldn’t see it that way at all. Everyone needs encouragement, Ally. Everybody needs people to believe in them and I believe passionately in the Australian people. I love the Australian people and I see it as a big part of my job to encourage –
LANGDON: But it sounds like you’re saying, we can’t sort of handle any challenge or opportunity without you.
PRIME MINISTER: No, what, what we’ve needed in, I have banked on Australia’s resilience during the course of the last three years. The one bet I made with Josh Frydenberg during the course of the pandemic was the backing of Australians to be resilient. So JobKeeper, cash flow boost, the COVID disaster payments, all of this was designed to support people’s strength and resilience. We backed them in to ensure they could come through. Now we’re going to keep backing in their aspirations and they have an aspiration to own their own home using their own money and we’re backing that in. See, I want Australians back in the driver’s seat. I want them in the driver’s seat of their own lives. I want businesses leading our economy. You know, in the pandemic we knew when we had to act, but we also knew when we had to get out of the way. That’s what responsible leadership is, ensuring that Australians can charge ahead and we’ll be there cheering them on and supporting them in every way we can.
LANGDON: This shift that that we sort of saw in you yesterday was sort of a shift towards more optimism. Is is that basically an acknowledgement that that voters don’t like what they see?
PRIME MINISTER: No, what it, what what I’m simply saying is this, throughout the course of this campaign, I’ve made a number of points. The first one is that this election is a choice, and I’ve said it’s a choice about who is best able to run a strong economy. And we’ve seen Anthony Albanese, he’s a loose unit on the economy. I think people know that. But then I’m saying this, it’s not just about avoiding the risk of Labor and an inexperienced Labor leader when it comes to the economy and indeed on national security. It’s about seizing the opportunities. We’ve been setting up for these opportunities. So next Saturday, there’s not just a reason to vote against Labor and avoid those risks, there’s a very good reason to vote Liberal and National because we can seize the opportunities that you’ve been working for, that we’ve been working together for. This can be a great period for Australia, but under the wrong leadership, without the experienced economic management and national security strength, well it could go the other way and that’s why this choice is so important.
LANGDON: Just very quickly, have you got one more miracle in you?
PRIME MINISTER: I’ve, I never stopped believing. I never stopped believing in Australians and I never stopped believing in our future. And so this Saturday, Australians can vote for that positive future by voting Liberal and National and avoiding –
LANGDON: All right.
PRIME MINISTER: … the inexperience and the risk of what is unknown about Labor.
LANGDON: Five more days and we’ll all be done. Prime Minister, thanks for your time this morning. Thank you.