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News that John Key is going to invest in upgrading and insulating state houses is puzzling, given that in the 2008 budget Parliament voted $53 million over five years to complete insulation and energy efficiency upgrades of all state houses, Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said.
This was the largest Green Party budget initiative in 2008, agreed to by the Labour Government, and voted for by Parliament.
“This programme has been going for some months and the money is already in Housing New Zealand's budget,” Ms Fitzsimons said.
“It's unclear what more Mr Key is saying he will do. Is this really just an announcement that he will not cut the existing state house funding?
“If the existing Green state house programme is good for jobs and the economy, then perhaps Mr Key should reinstate the Green Homes Fund for low and middle income private homes which cannot afford insulation.
“The Government has belatedly recognised that insulating homes and upgrading their energy efficiency is one of the best job creators per dollar invested, and is ready to go now. More capacity to deliver the programme can be built fast – it only takes three weeks to train an installer, and another three where they work under supervision.
“Compared with building roads or power stations, it will deliver far more jobs, for less money, faster.
“But let's not go over old ground. State house insulation is budgeted for and happening. Let's move on to houses that are still in need.”