The Federal Government has just released this year’s Federal Budget, delayed due to the current pandemic, with drastic measures set to help steer the nation away from economic crisis.
From taxes, to employment, to superannuation and the environment, the announcement was filled with new implementations set to battle Australia’s worst depression since the 1930s. Businesses will be offered incentives to hire unemployed people aged under 35, $50 billion in tax cuts will be fast-tracked, and direct cash payments are just some of these measures.
Without being able to accurately map out a timeline to ‘normal’, the Government is using much of its modelling with the assumption that a coronavirus vaccine won't be in place until late next year at the earliest. Australians will, in the meantime, have to live with social distancing until this is made widely available, however domestic borders are anticipated to reopen completely by the end of the year.
Investment in housing and infrastructure were two key areas set to get a boost from the 2020 Budget. Importantly, the Government will initiate a new tranche of the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme dedicated to new housing, as well as implement a $14 billion investment in infrastructure and a further $1 billion is set to be added to the bond scheme designed to support affordable housing.
The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA), the nation’s peak body representing the property development industry, has welcomed the direction and measures in the Federal Budget.
“The Budget sensibly recognises this is no time for business-as-usual policy settings, and instead takes an aggressive approach to the nation’s economic rejuvenation,” said UDIA National President Simon Basheer.
“Housing and construction contribute 750,000 direct and indirect jobs to the nation, so it is well placed to fill the gap caused by border restrictions and slower population growth due to current immigration levels.
“UDIA applauds the decision to release a new tranche of 10,000 places under the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme that are dedicated to new housing construction. The addition of these places – as well as the adjustment of price caps to better reflect median house prices across our capital cities – will give the industry a shot in the arm and boost employment.
“Importantly, the scheme can work in tandem with the HomeBuilder initiative, and we hope the Government keeps an open mind on its extension as well ahead of the end of the year.”
UDIA recently released some research indicating that the estimated fall in net overseas migration will result in an average per annum reduction of approximately 50,000 homes per year for the next 5 years.
“Efforts to tap domestic demand and keep jobs flowing across the housing construction sector will be essential to maintaining economic momentum until net overseas migration returns to more sustainable levels.” Mr Basheer continued.
“The $14 billion investment in infrastructure has the dual benefit of creating additional jobs today, as well as supporting the growth of communities for years to come. Likewise, the creation of more affordable housing underpinned by an expanded bond scheme will help boost the diversity of stock needed across our cities.”