Election 2014

14 Oct 2008

National wants to scrap home insulation fund

7:16 pm on 14 October 2008

The National Party says it won't keep a $1 billion home insulation fund which is part of the emissions trading scheme.

The Green Party initiative was part of a deal with the Government to secure a majority to get the emissions trading legislation through Parliament.

At an Oxfam debate on Monday, Climate Change spokesperson Nick Smith said the party is not committed to the fund because it is a Green Party and Labour Party policy.

He says if voters want that policy, they should vote for those parties.

Dr Smith said National has its own energy saving policy, and is committed to insulation in houses and to solar water systems.

Under a Labour Government, the fund would be spent over 15 years, starting from July 2009.

Nick Smith says the Government made no provision in the pre-election economic and fiscal update for the money.

However, Climate Change Minister David Parker says the existence of the fund is recognised in the economic and fiscal update, but the allocation of the money is not split into seperate years.

And he says the scheme is being paid for out of additional revenue arising from electricity companies owned by the Government being in the emissions trading scheme.

Fitzsimons stunned at move

Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says the insulation plan is hugely popular and she is stunned that National wants to scrap it.

"They're going to subsidise electric cars, which are going to be new cars and so will only ever be bought by the well-to-do people," she said.

"But they're going to take away the fund that will insulate the homes of the poorest and middle income families and make them warm and dry and properly heated and reduce their power bills.

"So I'm just speechless, actually, at what an unfair allocation of resources that is."

The Green Party is looking at the policies of both Labour and National to decide which party it will support after the election.

Jeanette Fitzsimons says the scrapping of the fund will be a black mark against National.