Scott Morrison has promised Australians a “new age of opportunity” if he is re-elected, as he launches a fight with Labor over housing with a central policy to allow first time home buyers to tap into their retirement savings.
Drawing a contrast to Labor for the final week of the election campaign, the PM used the Liberal Party’s official campaign launch to promise a new home superbuyer scheme that would allow people to access up to $50,000 of retirement savings. for the purchase of a first home.
He said the super scheme would be a “game changer” for people entering the property market and that the Labor Party’s alternative housing policy of a shared capital scheme wanted to “put government at the center of everything”.
“It’s about increasing the options available to you, with your super. It’s your money,” Morrison said.
“This will be a game changer for thousands of Australian families. They sit and look at the money in their balance and say: If only I had that to help me now.”
The policy comes on top of an extension of a retirement housing policy to encourage downsizing that was also announced Sunday, a new $375 million cancer center for Queensland and a $450 million increase for defence.
Urging voters to stick with the Coalition when Australia emerges from the pandemic, Morrison promised a “big plan” for the next government term that was to unlock the aspirations of Australians.
“I’m looking for a second term because I’m getting hot,” Morrison said.
He spoke about his belief that the country was moving towards better times after enduring “one of the most challenging times we have ever known”, acknowledging that it had been an “exhausting time” and that people were above politics.
Morrison said the nation, after teetering on the brink of an “abyss” when gripped by fear and uncertainty during Covid, was now ready to “put this pandemic behind us”.
“We have been building a bridge to the other side economically at a time of global uncertainty, and here we are. We now find ourselves on a different edge than the one I spoke about earlier: one where fear rules not, but aspiration, something we know a lot about as liberals and nationals, for the Australian people.
“This requires a very different approach from us as a government than the way we have had to be during these many difficult years, but it has also been one that we have been preparing for and are ready to move forward.
“We are on the brink of a new era of opportunities; Better days are ahead, but we cannot take them for granted. As a government we are in the highest gears to secure that opportunity and I know our economic plan is working because Australians are working and we are going in the right direction.”
The tone for a better future is set as Morrison seeks to reshape his image in the closing days of the election campaign. On Friday, he acknowledged that he had been a “bulldozer” at times and that now he was ready to shift gears in the wake of the pandemic.
Morrison’s unpopularity has dominated much of the campaign. There is particular concern among MPs in the so-called teal seats that their poor standing with voters will see the Coalition lose electorates that were previously safe and held by the Liberals.
The prime minister said on Sunday that while he hadn’t done everything right, he had put his “heart and soul into this job every day.”
“You do everything you can to help Australians achieve their aspirations. You don’t understand everything right. I have never pretended that I have it. But I’ll tell you something, I never leave anything on the field,” she said.
“It is a great privilege to hold this position. It is the great professional privilege of my life and I am looking for a second term to ensure that we can take this to the next level, to those better days.
“We have worked very hard together, friends, to get to where we needed to be. We have worked very hard and our plan will take us… to where we have been working hard to get.
“Our team will continue to put it on every day because we all love our country and we love our fellow Australians.”
The first part of Morrison’s speech focused on the government’s response to the pandemic, with the Prime Minister discussing the role played by Australians in overcoming the pandemic and the interventions, such as jobs, that the Coalition had introduced.
“We kept our heads in the crisis,” he said.
“We made sure to do the best we could, but we weren’t perfect. And not everything went according to plan, but you know, when it didn’t, and while others were criticizing, we just worked feverishly to turn it around and fix it.
“What followed was the largest public health and economic response in Australian history,” he said.
“We gave our fellow Australians that assurance in these very difficult times that tomorrow would be fine, so they could say the same thing to their children, their employees and, I’m pretty sure, themselves.”
He said that at this point he had needed to show “strength” and move on.
“He had one focus, like his prime minister: save the country.”