Builders spooked by carbon tax

by Adam Smith21 Jun 2012

Builders are expecting to take a hit from the carbon tax as it comes into effect next month.

A survey by Master Builders has found 88% of builders believe the carbon tax will hurt their business over the coming 12 months. Master Builders CEO Wilhelm Harnisch said the introduction of the levy is ill-timed for the industry.

"The timing for the carbon tax's introduction on 1 July 2012 could not come at a worse time for the building industry. Industry is trying to come to terms with a host of unknown factors. This includes how to deal with supply cost increases and how they can be recovered in new and existing building contracts," Harnisch said.

Harnisch also blamed the introduction of the tax for ongoing consumer wariness.

"New homebuyers are delaying their decisions as they assess the impact of the carbon tax. This confirms other surveys that show consumers are already exercising even greater caution over fears of increased cost of living. The increased cost of home ownership and of living flowing from the carbon tax will only make matters worse," he said.

Master Builders claimed the tax would result in cost increases to the building industry, which Harnisch said builders would not have the capacity to absorb. He warned that added costs could be passed on to homebuyers.

"Housing is already highly unaffordable in many parts of Australia - not just capital cities, but also many major regional areas. The last thing homebuyers need is the cost of new home ownership, and of living, to increase," he said.

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