HIA: Residential building sector feels budget sting

The Housing Industry Association has commented on cuts that will affect the building industry in a May 13 statement.

Such news may be of interest to those with home mortgages across Australia, as well as homeowners considering building a new home in the future.

The federal budget was released on May 13 and has directed its attention towards addressing the national budget deficit.

Treasurer Joe Hockey released a statement on the same day, commenting that the budget is directing its attention to creating a path to surplus, leading to cuts across the board.

Restrictions have been made to the Trade Support Loan scheme, while the National Workforce Development fund has been abolished, noted HIA Chief Executive Graham Wolfe.

"The residential building sector has only just begun to play a pivotal role in driving the economy as the nation transitions away from mining led growth," explained Mr Wolfe.

"The recovery in new home building has been highly dependent on demand generated from the household sector. Maintaining and improving consumer sentiment remains a priority."

However, tighter controls surrounding apprentice eligibility to enter the Trade Support Loan scheme are concerning, according to the HIA.

"The decision to restrict access to only those undertaking apprenticeships in trades on the National Skills Needs list should be revisited," explained Mr Wolfe.

Meanwhile, the removal of the National Workforce Development fund has been dubbed "unfortunate" by Mr Wolfe. Funds have been reallocated into a different fund, which focuses on a more narrow selection of industries.

These programs may impact future building growth, particularly if labour on the ground is unable to contend with demand for new dwellings.

Mr Wolfe commended the budget's focus on infrastructure investment. However, he noted that such investment should have been extended in order to deliver new housing.

Image credit: thienzieyung

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