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Labor’s Budget Reply


“Master Builders welcomes Labor’s commitment to help train 150,000 extra apprenticeships in areas of skill shortage (as is the case in building and construction) and 10,000 young Australians to do a pre-apprenticeship program but seeks more of a focus and investment in not for profit registered training organisations as well as TAFE,” Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said.

“Master Builders still urges Labor to rethink its plan to increase capital gains tax and restrict negative gearing. Contrary to Labor’s claims, its housing tax plan result in up to 42,000 less new homes, 32,000 less jobs and an $11.8 billion hit to the building industry. All incentives to invest in housing need to remain on the table to keep home ownership within reach of all Australians,” she said.

“The Opposition Leader restated that Labor’s objective for its housing tax policy is to assist more First Home Buyers (FHBs) to enter the housing market. Yet we are seeing that a realignment from investors to FHBs is already well underway in the housing market,” Denita Wawn said.

  • Lending to housing investors is down about 30% since mid-2017.
  • The value of housing loans to investors is falling sharply: from $95.1 billion over the year to August 2017 down to $67.3 billion in the past 12 months, a drop of some 29.2%.
  • The First Home Owner share of the owner occupier market has increased from 20.6% during 2016/17 to 26.5% in the past 12 months.
  • The past two years have shown that FHBs are best helped through the use of grant incentives, as well as targeted relief from the burden of stamp duty.

“We therefore question the need to continue on with this policy,” she said.

“Master Builders also welcomes Labor’s investment in infrastructure and housing through its Build to Rent and affordable housing policies and investment in utilities and transport infrastructure,” Denita Wawn said.

“Labor’s bold commitment to health through Medicare Cancer and PBS availability under Medicare is a welcome investment in the health and wellbeing of all Australians,” Denita Wawn said.

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