FEDERAL BUDGET 2012: Tax breaks for green buildings dumped

A plan to offer tax breaks for the construction of green buildings has been dumped, with Climate Change Minister Greg Combet declaring the program no longer offers value for money.

The axing of the program will create savings of $405 million over the next four years, with annual savings rising from $4.2 million in 2012-13 to $282 million in 2015-16.

Combet said in a statement that since 2010 there have been “major changes to the policy environment, most notably the passage of the Clean Energy Future (CEF) package.”

“Along with the incentive provided by the carbon price under the CEF package, support is available for retrofits of commercial buildings, for example, through Low Carbon Australia.

“Upon its establishment, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation will also provide financing that will build up to $10 billion for renewable energy, energy efficiency and low emissions technologies.

“In light of these changes, proceeding with the program is not considered value for money.”

The move will disappoint the property development sector, which had expressed fears prior to the release of the budget that the tax breaks could be under threat.

It won’t just be the property development sector losing out – the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency will also see its funding reduced by $15.2 million over the next five years as a result of the decision to scrap the tax break.

Elsewhere, it was business as usual for the property sector, with the Government continuing with funding for a range of social housing and housing affordability projects, including:

– The $4.5 billion National Rental Affordability Scheme
– The Housing Affordability Fund
– The Building Better Regional Cities program

Total spending on housing affordability and homelessness measures will be $3.6 billion in the 2012-13 year.

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