Rebuilding Together: Budget 2020 - Misc. NZ
Rebuilding Together: Budget 2020

Rebuilding Together: Budget 2020

8,000 new houses, free trades training and apprenticeships, an extra $3 billion invested in infrastructure, and private sector support are some of the initiatives set out in today’s Budget. 

Words by ArchiPro NZ

A new $5 billion home building project that's set to build 8,000 state houses over the next four to five years has been announced by Minister of Finance Grant Robertson as part of the 2020 Budget.

$1.6 billion has been allocated to make trades training and apprenticeships free for the next two years. With job losses in other sectors requiring many people to retrain, the scheme will allow more workers to enter the building and construction industries right when they will be needed most.

Financial support will also be given to businesses to retain their current apprentices.

In his Budget speech today, Robertson acknowledged the role residential building will play in the ongoing recovery.

"Further support for housing development and construction, including in the private residential market will be a critical element of our recovery from COVID-19, and it is my intention that this will be the subject of further investment in the next phases of the fund."

The $12 billion infrastructure fund announced earlier in the year will receive a further $3 billion of capital. Projects that are 'shovel ready'—that is, able to begin construction work within the next six months—would be eligible for the funding, and over 2000 submissions have already been made.

Decisions around which projects will get the nod will be made soon after advice from officials is received.

A further $1.2 billion will also be invested into rail, bringing the total to $4.6 billion.

“The initiatives announced in today’s budget are promising. It’s good to see the government recognising the importance of our sector as a key factor in economic recovery going forward and to see a roadmap of its investment over the next few years,” ArchiPro founder Milot Zeqiri said.

The wage subsidy that has paid $10.7 billion to firms to support 1.7 million workers since its inception in mid-March has been extended for a further eight weeks. It was designed to keep workers employed in industries like construction where work had to stop while the economy was deliberately put into hibernation under the Alert Level 4 lockdown.

Firms that can show their revenue over the last 30 days was less than half of what it was in the same period last year will be eligible.

The Budget is called 'Rebuilding Together' and is aimed at helping the country recover from the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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