INDEPENDENT NEWS

Don’t kill Green Homes Fund, urges Green Party

Published: Mon 1 Dec 2008 11:23 AM
1 December 2008
Don’t kill Green Homes Fund, urges Green Party
The release of the Business Council for Sustainable Development’s report on substandard New Zealand homes highlights both the value of the billion dollar Green Homes Fund and the Government’s flawed thinking in plans to ditch it, says the Green Party.
Green Party Health Spokesperson Kevin Hague says the report shows more than a quarter of Kiwi homes are making their occupants sick. Making homes warmer, drier and more energy and water efficient would:
• Stop 50 hospital admissions a day (saving $54 million a year)
• Cut 180,000 sick days off work a year (lifting production by $17 million a year)
• Reduce household power bills by $475 million a year
Mr Hague challenges the Government to be financially prudent and socially responsible and retain the fund.
“The Green Party came up with a solution – the Green Homes Fund. We pushed hard to ensure a billion dollars was budgeted to upgrade New Zealand homes. Now National plans to scrap that funding. This report highlights the value of the $1 billion Green Homes Fund so it’s obviously a false economy for the Government to ditch it.
“The benefits are clear. For every dollar spent on insulating cold houses, there is close to a two dollar benefit in energy and health savings. This means less time off work, less time off school and a better quality of life,” Mr Hague says.
“I understand in the heat of campaigning politicians may say something they later regret but I challenge National to remember the best interests of New Zealand.
“This home insulation fund would upgrade our housing stock, cut energy bills and generate jobs to keep Kiwis working. National have tried to create fear and uncertainty about a possible power crisis but nearly half of the $1 billion fund – due to be spent over 15 years – would be recouped in a single year in energy savings.”
ENDS

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