$40,000 cash grants: Fourth coronavirus stimulus incoming

·3-min read
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg appears on the left. He is smirking. On the right, a hand is holding a set of silver house keys with a house charm hanging from it.
$40,000 cash for home-owners and home-buyers. Source: Getty

Cash grants for home-owners and first home-buyers are on the cards in what will be the government’s fourth stimulus package, expected to be signed off by the national cabinet’s expenditure review committee some time this week.

Around 380,000 tradespeople are set to directly benefit from the stimulus, which is expected to prop up the flailing building and housing construction industry.

The cash grants for newly-constructed homes will be available to home-owners and first home-buyers, and will reportedly be between $20,000 and $40,000, according to Nine.

Limits and conditions are expected to be placed on the type of renovations included in the grant, News Corp reported.

While the housing package would be funded by the federal government, state and territory governments are expected to roll out complimentary stimulus packages to get the ball rolling on residential construction in their jurisdictions.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison flagged the new round of stimulus last week, as forecasts from Master Builders Australia predicted 400,000 building businesses and 1.2 million jobs were in jeopardy as a result of the slowdown in housing.

“We're very mindful of the areas in housing construction or in parts of the country, whether it be in north Queensland or other places, that are deeply affected and will be more deeply affected than other parts of the country,” Morrison said

Master Builders Australia lobbied for home renovations to be included in the building sector stimulus package, claiming it would generate $7 billion in economic activity and 24,036 jobs.

Master Builders also pushed for grants of $40,000, claiming an investment of $5.2 billion by the government would generate $17 billion in additional economic activity, and the creation of 58,311 jobs across the economy, effectively replenishing the 77,580 jobs lost in construction since the beginning of the pandemic.

The grants of $40,000 would also ensure 130,000 homes were built in the 2021 financial year.

“Work for builders and tradies in 2020/21 is fast evaporating and the indications are that 2021/22 will not be much better,” Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders said.

“There is no time to spare in meeting this threat to the viability of nearly 400,000 building business and the jobs of 1.2 million people employed in our industry.

Wawn said for stimulus to occur, building activity needed to commence as builders couldn’t keep their doors open on promises.

“We have seen that governments can fast track construction activity in response to natural disasters and COVID-19 is shaping up as an economic disaster.”

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