OTTAWA, March 21, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Home Builders' Association
(CHBA) today welcomed Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's budget measures
that increase federal support for national infrastructure, improve the
supply of skilled tradespeople, strengthen the manufacturing sector,
and reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses.
"This is a fiscally prudent, forward-looking budget," said CHBA
President Deep Shergill of Calgary. "We congratulate Minister Flaherty
for setting the right priorities."
The federal government's leadership in providing additional long-term
infrastructure financing to municipalities is very welcome. "It's an
opportunity to restore fiscal integrity at the municipal level and
fairness for younger generations. At present, many municipalities are
financing community infrastructure by transferring the costs into the
mortgages of new home buyers, amounting to more than $5 billion a year.
The budget's emphasis on skills training and development is the right
direction to go, Mr. Shergill said. "We welcome measures to support
apprenticeship and skilled labour training. Our industry needs skilled
tradespeople to build and renovate homes for Canadians and this budget
makes an important investment in that direction."
Mr. Shergill applauded the announcement of steps contained in the budget
to support manufacturing industries. The home building industry will
certainly benefit from the employment that will be created.
Mr. Shergill expressed disappointment that while the government has a
strong focus on international tax cheating, it did not place the same
importance on tackling the domestic underground cash economy.
"We have urged the government to work more effectively and aggressively
on this front," he said. "A permanent renovation tax rebate would
strengthen the government's weaponry in combatting illegal contracting
that creates problems for consumers, costs jobs and income, undermines
our efforts to support a professional industry and costs governments
billions of dollars annually in lost revenue. "
The CHBA President welcomed continuing federal efforts to reduce the
regulatory burden on small businesses. "We need to get rid of
unnecessary regulations and red tape which add to costs."
The measures in the budget to support Canada's National Research Council
are important for the housing industry, Mr. Shergill said. "Investment
in research and development has allowed new home builders to increase
energy efficiency of a newly constructed home by 66 per cent since
1975. This is the result of innovation supported by government research
and development. This collaboration must continue."
Mr. Shergill regretted that the budget didn't recognize the steady
erosion of housing affordability and choice. The low cost of mortgage
money has masked the fact that house prices continue to be pushed ever
higher through taxes, fees, levies and charges, including the federal
GST whose new homebuyer rebate thresholds have not changed since 1991.
In some urban centres, the relationship between house prices and
household incomes has reached a critical point.
The Canadian Home Builders' Association (CHBA) is the national voice of
the residential construction industry, representing more than 8,000
member firms across the country. Membership comprises new home
builders, renovators, developers, trade contractors, building material
manufacturers and suppliers, lenders and other professionals in the
SOURCE: Canadian Home Builders' Association
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