Family Friendly Budget
Housing Industry Association (HIA) welcomes family friendly initiatives announced tonight within the Federal Budget.
“Tonight’s budget is clearly pitched to Australian families and provides a range of measures to assist them. Tax cuts for lower and middle income earners will provide some relief for Australian households battling with mortgage and rent payments,” said Dr Ron Silberberg said HIA Managing Director.
Income tax cuts together with increases in family assistance initiatives will assist many households to enter the housing market. HIA also commends the $294 million initiative to encourage home ownership within indigenous communities.
Other budget initiatives include:
- For the average income earner the budget provides from 1 July 2007 a tax cut of approximately $16 per week.
- A tax exempt payment of $1,000 per annum for first and second year apprentices under the age of 30. All apprentices to receive a voucher of up to $500 per year towards course fees.
- Doubling rebates for solar panels from $4,000 to $8,000 taking the Government’s Photovoltaic Program for housing to $30 million.
- An increase in the reimbursement of out of pocket child care costs, providing up to an extra $16.40 per week for single child families.
- $250 million to be paid to local councils before 30 June 2007 for the construction and maintenance of local roads.
- Additional funding of AusLINK 1 of $695 million and $19.1 billion for a second stage for AusLINK.
With more than half a million households in housing stress, HIA also renewed its calls for greater leadership from all levels of government on housing affordability.
“The budget recognises the importance of investment in infrastructure to support future productivity. However, there is a need for the Federal Government to make a greater contribution o existing, and future infrastructure requirements of urban Australia,” Ron Silberberg said.
The growing taxes and charges of local and state governments for the delivery of essential and social infrastructure is putting more debt on the shoulders of Australian households.
“There was no mention tonight of an Affordable Housing Package. The Federal Government needs to show stronger leadership in this area, by assisting state and local governments in delivering urban infrastructure and providing incentives for investment in affordable housing,” said Ron Silberberg.