Premier Darrell Dexter revealed details of a new home construction rebate yesterday designed to stimulate the economy and create jobs for tradespeople.

Dexter told local media he wants to ensure “skilled tradesmen are able to have work, and are able to stay in the province,” especially young tradespeople.

The program will reduce HST on new home construction by four per cent and home builders can receive up to a $7,000 rebate. Dexter also said the program could run as high as $10.5 million, and not all applicants will be able to take advantage of the full $7,000.

Dexter said construction is a major driver of our economy. He said the program not only benefits home builders, but the entire construction industry.

“The program is based around the requests from the (construction) industry,” Dexter said. “They are the people who are in the best position to decide what’s going to have the best effect on the industry itself.”

Paul Pettipas, CEO of the Nova Scotia Home Builders Association, said they proposed the program during last month’s election, and he’s happy to see the NDP follow through on it.

The program will run on a first-come, first-serve basis for single family, primary homes, the premier confirmed. Program details and applications will be shared with the public when they are finalized later this summer.

Tory interim leader Karen Casey said yesterday the NDP shouldn’t take so long to implement the program.

“Valuable decision-making time will be lost and the construction season will pass quickly while the NDP government works out the arrangements of this program,” Casey said in a release.

Construction
• A total of 1,500 rebates will be distributed on an application basis for people who have building permits dated after May 1 and whose home will be substantially completed before March 31, 2010.