Industry rejects home grant extension

Builder Steve Knight said the First Home Builder Boost had helped struggling builders in the North. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER

Builder Steve Knight said the First Home Builder Boost had helped struggling builders in the North. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER

THE state's building industry does not want to see the First Home Builder Boost extended beyond its December expiry date, despite labelling the incentive a "godsend" for building approvals.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data released yesterday revealed Tasmanian dwelling approvals rose 5.3 per cent in April, with approval ratings for the month more than 30 per cent higher than the same time last year.

The figures far outstripped every other state and territory, and hovered high above the national average of 1.6 per cent.

Master Builders Tasmanian executive director Michael Kerschbaum said the spike was "almost entirely" attributable to the $30,000 First Home Builder Boost.

The incentive will be on offer until the end of the year, while a $7000 First Home Owners Grant paid to those buying existing homes will expire at the end of this month.

Mr Kerschbaum said the First Home Builder Boost had helped resuscitate a state building industry left "on its knees" in September last year, but there was no reason to extend the incentive into 2015.

"The initiative has worked brilliantly in supporting the industry, creating jobs and growing the economy," Mr Kerschbaum said.

"But these sorts of initiatives must be seen as short- term measures, not long-term crutches to prop up the building industry."

Mr Kerschbaum said by the end of the year, he would like to see the state's economy improve to a point where building activity could be driven without the boost remaining.

However, builder Steve Knight said the $30,000 payment should not be stripped away without putting any other type of incentive in its place.

"We have seriously struggled in the North of the state and this boost has had a really positive impact," Mr Knight said.

"If the government is not going to offer a grant, they should be able to do something like defer the GST component on a newly built home so that buoyancy in the industry can continue."

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop