PM’s new cash grant plan


Scott Morrison has revealed he's planning a renovation rescue for the economy with cash grants for new home builds and even some larger renovations to protect tradies' jobs.

The Prime Minister has confirmed today that Cabinet is finalising a new home construction stimulus plan with details to be announced shortly.

Some state governments including New South Wales are also looking at stamp duty reductions, a move that could slash the cost of buying a home and even downsizing for retirees.

Stressing the focus was on new home builds, the Prime Minister did not rule out cash grants for some renovations but the details of which projects will qualify is not yet finalised.


The scheme is designed to expand the existing first home buyers schemes encouraging new home builds to families that have previously purchased a home and want to upgrade.

"We are more interested in larger projects and new home builds and things like that,'' the Prime Minister told 2GB radio.

"Because you get to the end of this year, about September when the economists are telling us … you are looking at a bit of a drop off. That's not good for tradies and it's not good for jobs."

The Prime Minister insisted that the scheme to support new home builds would be different to the projects the Rudd Government rolled out during the Global Financial Crisis that were criticised by the Coalition.

"This is not building school halls, we saw that done through big contractors and small contractors not getting the work. So we want to make sure that whatever we do in this space, and there's still a way to go here, we want to make sure the jobs get created locally,'' he said.

Mr Morrison said the government was working to ensure that compliance was addressed.

"The challenge of all of these programs we are engaged with to get the economy moving is that you've got to try and avoid the rorting and people taking advantage of it,'' he said.

"Even though Australians have been amazing during this crisis, there are still those that will try and do the wrong thing.

"We are not making announcements on that today. We've gone from the big, broad strokes of JobKeeper and JobSeeker but as time goes on we will be able to narrow it in and focus on those sectors that need support."

The Prime Minister will also confirm today that the Western Sydney airport metro line will be fast-tracked in a joint announcement with the NSW Government.

"We will start it this year,'' he said.

"We're both excited about that. Getting these big projects moving even more quickly is something we have been working together on. There's a lot of work going on out there and it's great for jobs and it's great for Western Sydney."

The Prime Minister first flagged a stimulus package for the housing construction industry and the arts weeks ago.

"We're very mindful of the challenges in the media and the creative arts area. 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,'' he said.

Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders has previously warned that urgent government support was needed for the construction sector.

"Building and construction is shaping up to be one of the industries worst hit in the long term by the COVID-19 economic crisis,'' she said.

"We know from previous downturns that it takes four times longer for our industry to recover than the rest of the economy."

Labor frontbencher Jim Chalmers welcomed the support for new home builds on Sunday warning the construction sector was under pressure.

"Already, before the crisis, construction was relatively weak and homeownership was at 60 year lows, so we had a challenge there,'' he told Sky News.

"That challenge has been exacerbated by this coronavirus crisis. In two or three months, we are very worried that construction will fall off a cliff and that's why we have been making very constructive suggestions about what the Government might do.

"We're very worried about jobs for tradespeople, in particular in the building industry."

Originally published as PM's new cash grant plan

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