National Putting Lives At Risk Axing Insulation Funding

26 April 2017

The lives of elderly and the health of young children are being put at risk because the National government pulled the plug on funding the home insulation scheme, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland Member of Parliament Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“In his state of the nation speech earlier this year Prime Minister Bill English said real ‘achievement in social investment’ included ‘preventing rheumatic fever, and reducing waiting times at hospital emergency departments.’

“If this is true, Mr English needs to explain, with winter coming, why his government cut one of the main schemes to keep people out of hospitals, especially children who are in danger of falling ill with rheumatic fever in places like Northland and South Auckland.

“New Zealand has some of the coldest houses in the Western world. Studies have revealed that by investing in insulation there are massive health benefits. Millions of dollars are saved by keeping people out of the health system.

“Last year when the government cut funding to the scheme they gave a higher rate of subsidy for landlords to insulate their properties.

“The response from landlords since then has been appallingly lacklustre and is not working.

“Between 600,000 and 900,000 New Zealand homes still have no insulation or inadequate insulation.

“If Mr English is serious about social investment, then instead of favouring landlords, he must resume funding for the home insulation scheme immediately to ensure poorer families’ homes are dryer and warmer,” says Mr Peters.