Budget comment: Government cuts Warm-Up programme that saves lives and cuts power bills

National has cut home insulation funding to its lowest ever level in Budget 2016, which will leave thousands of people shivering in their houses again this winter, the Green Party said today

Budget 2016 allocates just $12 million this year for the Warm Up New Zealand programme this year and $4.5 million for the Healthy Homes programme, compared to $23.9 million for Home Insulation last year.

“Over 2,000 families will miss out on getting a warmer, dryer, healthier home under this Budget,” Green Party energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes said.*

“It looks like National is giving up on warming up New Zealand’s houses, but we still have some of the coldest, draughtiest, dampest houses in the developed world.

“National is all talk when it comes to investing in the things that make a difference for social outcomes – home insulation lowers hospital visits, days off work and school, power bills, and creates jobs. It’s already resulted in $1.2 billion of health benefits.

“No New Zealander should have to live in a cold, damp, draughty house that makes them sick. Fifteen children die every year and 42,000 child are hospitalised because of illnesses from cold, damp, mouldy housing.

“When National first got into power, it was keen to work with the Green Party to insulate New Zealand homes, but for the last few years they’ve been cutting insulation funding every year,” said Mr Hughes.

*EECA estimates that insulating a home costs $2500-4500. At $3500 each, a cut of $7.4 million this year works out to 2,114 fewer houses insulated.

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