29 March 2022

“The Budget will provide some relief for builders and tradies hard hit by the increasing cash and cost crunch including measures to help SMEs to manage it, Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said.

“Temporary relief at the fuel bowser is a big win for the building industry. Builders and tradies who spend billions on fuel each year are reporting that they are being slammed by a 25 -30% spike in fuel costs in the March quarter,” she said.

“Builders and tradies are going to feel the benefit of the fuel excise cut as they fuel up their utes,” Denita Wawn said.

“56% of building and construction SMEs are under extreme pressure due to the spike in fuel costs compared to 41% of SMEs in general according to MYOB Business Monitor,” she said.

“The extension of the Government’s highly successful apprentice and trainee wage subsidy until 30 June will cut costs and boost confidence in our industry as our members struggle to deal with labour shortages that are causing delays and cash flow pressures,” Denita Wawn said.

“The continuation of apprentice and wage subsides albeit at a lower rate from 1July is also a positive move,” she said.

“Our industry has the most SMEs than any other sector in the economy and one of the lowest rates of digital take up, so it’s great to see the Government announcing new tax deductions  to support thousands of mum and dad businesses to take up more digital business management solutions, which in the current environment are more critical than ever,” Denita Wawn said.

“It’s good to see measures being announced that will help complete economic recovery and assist building and construction businesses to move forward from the COVID imposed challenges of the past two years,” she said.

“Home ownership, particularly building new homes is a major engine of a strong economy and the major expansion of the Home Guarantee Scheme and the new Regional Home Guarantee are going to build on the success of the Government’s measures that saves hundreds of thousands of jobs from being lost and builder and tradie businesses from going under in our industry during COVID,” Denita Wawn said.

“Importantly, the Budget includes a new $2 billion funding increase for social and affordable housing through the National Housing Investment and Finance Corporation,” she said.

“The additional $17 billion in infrastructure investment over the forward estimates to boost the 10 year pipeline of projects to $120 billion is good news for civil construction sector and will support stronger economic growth,” Denita Wawn said.

“Just as importantly, the Government’s new procurement rules will give  smaller construction contractors and subcontractors a realistic opportunity to tender for work on these projects,” she said.

“Overall, it’s good to see the Government is responding to the plight of many in our industry who are being squeezed by steep cost increases and delays which are impacting their cash flow caused by a perfect storm of international and domestic factors which has driven a surge in demand for building activity,” Denita Wawn said.

“We look forward to more initiatives which Master Builders has called for to fuel the economic recovery being announced in the upcoming Federal Election campaign,” Denita Wawn said.

Ends..