National fails to warm up NZ | The Jackal

29 May 2012

National fails to warm up NZ

Today, the Otago Daily Times reported:

The Government has not committed any new money to a housing insulation scheme despite reports showing it had provided $1.2 billion in health benefits - a four-fold return on its funding.

A series of studies commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Development said the $347 million Warm Up New Zealand programme, which subsidised the cost of insulation and heating homes, had generated significant health benefits since its introduction in 2009.

University of Otago researchers found that households which had installed insulation had cut their hospital and prescription costs.

In research published yesterday, it was also estimated that the scheme had prevented 18 deaths among people 65 or older who had previously been hospitalised with respiratory illness.

The combined benefits of reduced mortality and illness, and increased energy efficiency, was measured at $1.58 billion over nearly four years. More than 99 per cent of the economic benefits came from reduced health costs.

Warm Up NZ was the result of a National-Greens agreement in 2009. Greens co-leader Metiria Turei said its economic rewards were evident.

Well that's not exactly correct... Warm up NZ is a Greens initiative that was first supported by Labour, and then National continued the scheme because it would've been unpopular to can it. It's a bit silly how other political parties have been claiming it as their idea... even Pita Sharples from the Maori party was saying it was theirs just last week. What a dork!

You've got to wonder why National doesn't increase the scope of such initiatives that have obvious benefits. In this case it's been shown to be far more cost effective than simply letting people get sick from cold houses... and that's before you even factor in things like lost production and the negative psychological effects of illness.

National wouldn't just cruel for not extended the scheme, they would be fiscally irresponsible as well... but what else is new?