Michael Sukkar MP

Federal Member for Deakin
Assistant Treasurer
Minister for Housing
Minister for Homelessness, Social and Community Housing
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Transcript – Ben Fordham Live

The Hon Michael Sukkar MP

Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Housing, Minister for Homelessness, Social and Community Housing

Member for Deakin


Monday, 18 April 2022

2GB Breakfast – Ben Fordham Live

Topics: Home guarantee scheme price cap expansion, cost of living measures, 2022 Budget and economic growth.

Ben Fordham:

Now we know that housing affordability remains a big issue, Sydney is the second most expensive city in the world.  We’re only behind Hong Kong.  Our median price of $1.6 million is more than 15 times the average household income.  There are 400 Sydney suburbs with a median price of $1 million or more. For a lot of younger people and older people, it’s become almost impossible to own a home.  We’ve been raising this issue with the Assistant Treasurer, Michael Sukkar.  He told us in November that he’d have another look at Sydney before the next election.  Well, the next election is only five weeks away, and he’s returned today with a plan.  Michael Sukkar, the Assistant Treasurer, is live on the line.  Good morning to you, Michael.

Minister Michael Sukkar:

Good morning, Ben.  Great to be with you.

Ben Fordham:

Nice to be with you.  Now we spoke to you about this previously. You’ve got this policy to allow people to buy their first home with a 5 per cent deposit.  That was capped in Sydney on properties worth $800,000 so you’ve bumped that up just slightly to $900,000.

Minister Sukkar:

And for regional New South Wales, Ben, we’ve increased it from $600,000 to $750,000 and this obviously recognises a couple of things.  Firstly, the significant price rises that we’ve seen throughout the country during the pandemic but also, as foreshadowed in your and my conversations really over the last twelve months, and that is the massive expansion of our Home Guarantee Scheme.  We, in the Budget, announced that we would increase the places to 50,000 places a year.  In essence, the scheme enables first home buyers to purchase their first home with a deposit of 5 per cent as opposed to the full 20 per cent deposit that banks are requiring.  Obviously, that’s a huge barrier and in Sydney it is taking young people in particularly up to a decade to save for that deposit so bringing the deposit hurdle down to 5 per cent brings that forward by many years.  It’s a program we’ve had in place for a couple of years now and it has assisted more than 60,000 people into a home but we’re just making it much bigger.  50,000 places a year and in order to accommodate that massive increase in the scheme, we’re also increasing the house price caps that apply.

Ben Fordham:

This is part of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation, and you can go to this website if you would like to apply. Nhfic.gov.au.  After one week of the election campaign, we see a poll out today, this is from Resolve Strategic Polling in the Sydney Morning Herald.  Primary support for Labor has fallen from 38 per cent to 34 per cent.  What do you make of that?

Minister Sukkar:

Well, Ben, polls are polls and I’ll leave that up to people like yourself to commentate on. But what we’ve seen is obviously the Government, the Prime Minister, the Treasurer, with a very detailed economic plan everybody saw in the Budget.  Our intention to continue growing the economy, to continue our economic recovery, a real focus on jobs with jobs being the greatest single way which– in my view – you can assess the strengths of the economy and the unemployment rate is at record lows versus an opposition and an Opposition Leader that have no economic plan, that have given very little thought to the economy. In addition to that, an opposition that criticises our Budget as a cash splash for measures including reductions to fuel excise of 22 cents a litre which, I can tell you over the Easter break, Ben, have flowed through to the bowser in my hometown of Melbourne and I see have done the same in Sydney which has been welcome relief for Australians which the Labor Party described as a cash splash.  So, an economic plan, a focus on jobs, a focus on cost-of-living relief versus an opposition that has given such little thought to the economy that in some respects, it’s perhaps not surprising that the opposition leader is being found out.

Ben Fordham:

Our guest is the Assistant Treasurer, Michael Sukkar.  I’d just like a comment from you, if I can, on Katherine Deves who is the Liberal candidate for the seat of Warringah.  She’s made some comments about transgender athletes and also transgender teens.  Now you’ve got Matt Kean, the Liberal Treasurer in New South Wales saying she should be disendorsed.  Others are running a million miles from her.  Do you support Katherine Deves?

Minister Sukkar:

Well, Ben, at first, I would say I haven’t scrutinised every single statement that Katherine has made but the basic point and the basic campaign that Katherine has led for a long time is one that I support and absolutely I support Katherine.  Katherine is a highly credentialed individual who is fighting for the rights of women in sport.  That’s an extremely important thing and something that I think has widespread community support.  She’s obviously apologised for things she’s said in the past that she hasn’t said well or that just are inappropriate and she’s appropriately apologised for those. But in a broader sense, her championing of the cause of women in sport is something that I absolutely support.  She’s a highly credentialed candidate and of course we support her candidacy in Warringah.