For months Michael Sukkar has been peddling the line that the HomeBuilder Scheme would “keep hundreds of thousands of people in jobs”.
He has said it in interviews. He has said it on Twitter. He has said it in Parliament.
On Friday his own Department confirmed it is not true.
In the answer to a Question on Notice published Friday, Treasury has advised that the HomeBuilder Scheme is:
“expected to generate an additional $1.6 billion in residential investment in 2020-21 on top of the investment that would otherwise have occurred. On average, every million dollars of residential construction activity supports employment for around 6 jobs in construction and related industries”.
In other words, Treasury expects the scheme to support approximately 9,600 jobs – not hundreds of thousands.
This is concrete proof that the HomeBuilder Scheme is too small and more action is needed to save the jobs of tradies in the home building industry.
The industry is going off a cliff.
Treasury has forecast that the number of new homes built this financial year will drop from 170,000 (built in 2019/20) to 140,000.
Forecasts from the housing industry are even worse.
The fact is fewer homes built means more tradies out of work.
HomeBuilder will help a bit, but not enough.
Much more is needed to save tradies jobs.
That’s why we are calling on the Morrison Government to fund the construction and repair of social housing.
The Housing Industry Association, the Master Builders Australia and by the Property Council have all called for this.
We did it during the GFC and it worked. It saved the jobs of tradies, helped to stop us going into recession and put a roof over the head of people who really needed it.