Carbon tax strain on building
AUSTRALIA’S largest brick and tile maker says the government’s carbon price proposal will put further pressure on housing affordability, pushing up the price of building components by six to 10 per cent.
B r i c k w o r k s L t d c h i e f executive Lindsay Partridge s a i d h o me c o n s t r u c t i o n would decline if a price is put on carbon without sufficient rebates to assist business to r e d u c e o r o f f s e t t h e i r emissions. ‘‘ We’re already seeing home ownership rates fall in Australia because of a f f o r d a b i l i t y i s s u e s a n d clearly this is going to add to the cost of construction of a new house,’’ Mr Partridge said yesterday.
‘‘ All we are going to do is create social problems because people can’t afford to
Lindsay Partridge buy homes.’’ Mr Partridge said the cost of all building materials would rise under a carbon tax, including roof tiles, metal roofing, glass, bricks, cement and aluminium window frames.
‘‘ Every single material that is used to build a house, barr the labour, will have a tax on it,’’ he said. Mr Partridge said a carbon price above $ 20 a tonne would add between six and 10 per cent to the cost of bricks and roof tiles.
That would cost his company $ 8 million a year, with a carbon price at $ 20 per tonne, or $ 16 million a year, if the price was set at $ 40 a tonne. Mr Partridge said it would be hard to pass the full cost of those increases on to consumers, given housing a f f o r d a b i l i t y w a s s o stretched. The most likely outcome under the current proposal was an increase in c h e a p e r p r o d u c t s f r o m countries that do not price carbon, he said.
‘‘ We already import products, so it would mean we would increase the percentage that we import.’’