Builders in Victoria has voiced strong support for Tuesday’s Federal Budget, saying key initiatives along with a return to projected surplus will help to promote confidence within the building sector.

In a statement, Master Builders Victoria CEO Rebecca Casson has welcomed the return to surplus announced by the Government in Tuesday’s budget, saying it provides an important confidence booster for the housing and construction sector.

“Knowing the economy is back on track will give builders the incentive to invest, create jobs, hire more people and take on more apprentices,” she said.

Casson also welcomed measures in relation to small business, skills and infrastructure.

On small business, she applauded an expansion of the income tax write-off scheme.

Under this scheme, small businesses who purchase assets or capital equipment can claim tax deductions for the entire amount in the year of purchase rather than having to depreciate the value of the asset over a number of years.

In the budget, the Government announced that the threshold for this incentive would be lifted from $25,000 to $30,000.

The cap for the scheme has also been lifted to cover businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million (previously $10 million).

On skills, Casson welcomed a $525 million package designed to create opportunities for 80,000 new apprentices.

Under the changes, the Government has doubled incentive payments which are made to employers who take on new apprentices from $4,000 to $8,000.

Apprentices themselves will also receive an incentive payment worth $2,000.

Finally, Casson applauded the Government’s $100 million commitment to infrastructure building over the next ten years.

Still, Casson cautioned that the budget comes amid growing expectations of a slowing in new home construction.

At any rate, she said the budget promises will only bear fruit if the Coalition wins the upcoming federal election.

“While there was good economic news in this budget, we are concerned that Treasury – in line with Master Builders’ forecasts – is predicting a seven per cent decline in housing investment. This clearly reinforces the need to ensure that all housing investment incentives remain intact,” she said.

“Now all the Government needs to do is to win the next federal election to be able to make good on their promises.”