National’s plans to cancel the Green Party’s $1 billion home insulation programme reveals yet again that they are not interested in the health and welfare of ordinary New Zealanders, Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.
Last night in Auckland, National’s Climate Change Spokesman Dr Nick Smith announced under pressure that National plans to abolish the billion dollar Green Homes Fund the Green Party negotiated with Labour.
“The main reason he gave, extraordinarily, was that it was an agreement between the Greens and Labour, so National would repeal it,” Ms Fitzsimons says.
“Smith revealed last night what many people suspect. National’s front bench keep uttering soothing words about fronting up to climate change, but in reality they have no plans or ideas of their own and consistently oppose everyone else’s.
“National’s record on Climate Change is abysmal. They have opposed virtually every climate change and energy efficiency initiative and - even worse - they have failed to provide a single credible alternative to the measures they persistently attempt to undermine.
“This year alone, the National Party:
- Opposed lighting efficiency standards, which will reduce home power bills and the drain on New Zealand’s electricity supplies.
- Opposed water heating standards, which will reduced home power bills and reduce the use of coal burning power stations.
- Voted against the Emissions Trading Scheme, the only proposal on the table to price carbon emissions.
- And now they are threatening to put an end to the incredibly popular home insulation programme, which is designed to help all home owners make their homes warm, dry, energy efficient and properly heated.
“Now, of all times, we need to invest in sustainable infrastructure, which includes warm, dry homes for all New Zealanders. This will keep people in worthwhile work during the recession, reduce power bills, improve health, especially for children with asthma, and reduce our climate change emissions,” Ms Fitzsimons says.
“The programme would be funded from the dividends of the state owned electricity generators who will make higher profits under the Emissions Trading Scheme.
“But, in the usual pattern, it is in a moment of rare honesty that we see the leopard has not changed his spots at all. National’s only plan on reducing our climate footprint is to undo all the good work that has been done - at the expense of ordinary New Zealanders.”