Professional Builders Warn Against Plan to Cap Tax Deductibility of Self-Education Expenses

The Australian Institute of Building (AIB) today urged the Federal Government to reconsider their recent proposal to cap the tax deductibility of self-education expenses at $2000.

“The Australian Institute of Building (AIB) has grave concerns about this proposal, which has been announced without any widespread consultation with key stakeholders and the community”, said Mr Robert Whittaker, AIB National President.

“Capping tax the tax deductibility of self-education expenses at $2000 will have a significant impact on participation in professional postgraduate courses in building and construction. This will reduce the supply of skills to construction companies in Australia, which will affect many areas of their businesses, such as their bottom line, safety, quality, environmental performance, and workplace relations, to name a few.”

“Part-time and mature-aged students are often employed as Construction and Project Managers, responsible for overseeing projects worth up to hundreds of millions of dollars each, and for over 50 years have often progressed straight to master degree programs without bachelor degrees.”

“Further, many undergraduate students of our construction management degrees come from the TVET sector as part-time students. This tradition of equity and access is put at risk by these proposals. Advanced standing and articulation have long been, and shall remain, a central tenant of the Australian Institute of Building.”

“The Government’s proposal will restrict continuing professional development, one of the cornerstones of professional practice, and will undermine the tradition of ‘lifelong learning’.”

“Further, as the changes will be applied retrospectively to current students, this will impose costs unexpected when they commenced their courses, and possibly prolonging or disrupting their studies.”

“The proposed change to tax concessions will do definite harm to the building profession. The construction industry is currently suffering under very bad economic conditions, and does not need further bad news of this nature. Therefore, we ask the Government to reconsider this ill-conceived proposal”, Mr Whittaker added.

For further information, please contact: –

Mr Robert Whittaker FAIB – AIB National President

Mobile 0418 536 056 Email: robert.whittaker@aib.org.au