Falling building approvals a warning to Labor

The significant fall in building approvals in January 2011 is another black mark on Labor’s economic record and the residential sector is under further threat with interest rates set to rise and a carbon tax on the way, said Senator Marise Payne, Shadow Minister for Housing.

Senator Payne said the figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed residential building approvals had declined by 15.9 per cent in January 2011, to be down by 24.8 per cent on a year earlier.

“It is clear that the Rudd-Gillard Government is failing to manage inflationary pressure coming from the mining boom, with interest rates rising seven times since late 2009, including four in the last year alone,” Senator Payne said. 

“Labor continues to spend billions on pet projects when the economy has already recovered from the global financial crisis, putting more pressure on inflation which threatens to squeeze homebuilders and homebuyers.

“Now Labor wants to introduce a carbon tax that will drive up the cost of materials for builders and feed into higher prices for homebuyers.

“We already have a shortage of 202,400 dwellings in Australia that will get worse if these falls in construction continue.

“Homebuyers and consumers are already coping with rents rising well above inflation, spiralling power and utility prices and the prospect of a flood levy.

“Labor’s economic mismanagement is only matched by its failure on housing supply and affordability.

“The Rudd-Gillard Government needs to lift its game on housing but this won’t happen while there are three different ministers and two different departments.”