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Tax cuts and 1600 deaths per year

Written By: - Date published: 2:53 pm, May 31st, 2017 - 16 comments
Categories: budget 2017, class war, health, housing, national - Tags: , , , ,

One of the nasty little fishhooks in the budget (James Shaw in Parliament – Hansard link currently down here’s the cache):

I want to bring up the home insulation scheme because it was referred to earlier in the debate. When you think about the fact that there are 40,000 visits by children to the emergency rooms in hospitals around this country ever year, because their homes are actually making them sick, and when you consider there are 1,600 people who die in the winter months, above what happens in the other months of the year, as a result of cold, damp homes, you have to wonder why this Government is withdrawing funding from the home insulation scheme, because that scheme saved lives. It had a benefit-cost ratio of $6 for every $1 that was invested. [Interruption] I hear some interjections from members opposite, who want me to move off the fact that their policies are leading to increased deaths in the winter. I can imagine why they would want me to move on, from that point. But it is a very real point. This is not simply a theoretical change to tax brackets that is going to upset people. It does, in fact, affect people’s lives. Thank you.

Some background reading on this.

Feeling the cold

About 1600 more people die in winter than in summer, mainly of cardiovascular and respiratory causes.

Cost Benefit Analysis of the Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart Programme

The overall results suggest that the programme as a whole has had sizeable net benefits, with our central estimate of programme benefits being almost five times resource costs attributable to the programme. The central estimate of gross benefits for the programme is $1.28 billion compared with resource costs of $0.33 billion, a net benefit of $0.95 billion.

See also the ponderously titled: The Impact of Retrofitted Insulation and New Heaters on Health Services Utilisation and Costs, Pharmaceutical Costs and Mortality: Evaluation of Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart

Health and cold damp houses

Cold, damp and mouldy homes impact on our health and our children’s health. Cold homes have been linked to cardiovascular disease and respiratory illness. Indoor dampness and mould have been linked to:

• asthma
• respiratory infections
• rheumatic fever.

Across the above health conditions, some children are consistently more affected: infants, Māori and Pacific children, and children living in the most socioeconomically deprived areas.

And so on and so on. This is one of the many things that the budget gives up in the pursuit of tax cuts, the benefits of which go mainly to the already wealthy. Does that seem worth it?

16 comments on “Tax cuts and 1600 deaths per year”

  1. tc 1

    Opposition needs to go hard on this as a classic example of nationals priorities.

    Strip away the bs pr spin and its another massive F you to those in need

  2. Enough is Enough 2

    The Greens should make an immediate announcement that every budget cut will be reversed under a Green Government. (Labour will quickly follow that up with an identical announcement but put “Kiwi” in front of it).

    New Zealander’s need to know that a change of government will mean the cut will not occur.

    • Sigh 2.1

      But Greens voted for the tax cuts that make those budget cuts necessary, in the name of “helping the poor”.

  3. UncookedSelachimorpha 3

    Those NAct morons.

    They lie that they are “data driven” with a “social investment” approach, but every single time it comes to a decision, they do the exact opposite!!

    Cruel ignorant dickheads.

    #BrighterFutureFail

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Cruel, yes, but not ignorant – they actually do know exactly what they’re doing.

  4. RedLogix 4

    I’ve always thought that about 70% of NZ’s housing stock urgently needs remodelling with a bulldozer.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      True. We seem to have this collective idea that once a house is built it lasts forever rather than planning on tearing them down and replacing them once they’ve reached their use by date.

  5. Booker 5

    This is the thing with the Nats – here’s a policy that would deliver an overall benefit to the NZ economy of $1 billion. They went on about how the TPPA would add $2.9 billion by 2030 and how vital it was. Now they chop a policy that would add a third of that – not to mention, if the retrofitting of insulation was done using a NZ-made product, there’s an additional economic benefit not previously accounted for.

    All this from the party that promote themselves as the “strong, stable economy” and “financially sound management”. Even if you completely ignore the humanitarian, or simply egalitarian idea that people who are poor shouldn’t be cold all the time, this is an expenditure which delivers net economic benefit and they still cut it! Please, throw these crooks out come election day.

  6. Keith 6

    James Shaw’s outrage over this dishonest budget is 100% justified.

    The problem is after the Greens tacit support of the very same budget neither he or the Greens are the people who can with any sincerity voice such outrage and nor do I care they apparently are. They’ve kind of lost credibility to do so.

    To me it’s a little bit like ACT being outraged! Or Dunne. Or the Maori Party.

  7. greywarshark 7

    On Radionz this morning in the business report section about 6.45 am there were reports from bank economists about steady growth a fobust economym, tourism, construction and a third mentioned as doing well. Everything fine and dandy.

    Then news at 7 am, housing to hell, families to hell etc. Parallel universes we live on. The unseen seen, the Claytons great country. It is madness, and horrible to watch. We can’t put up with this.

    I had a discussion recently with one of the anomic generation who has grown up in this, she wasn’t fazed about the conditions for others who aren’t coping. That’s how it is these days!

    I have met a few like this in recent years. The ones I have remembered have been single women making their way, middle-aged without a partner of either gender, no children. One who has abandoned a professional occupation to follow her goal of environmental awareness but still living with parents.

    They are separated from the community though full of the ‘right’ talk about it and PCness. They are goal oriented but not practical as to how they will achieve it. They are aspirational about their individual achievement and hold themselves apart from society so they can follow their own, and in their opinion, better way, but they are still dependent on society.

    They don’t see that, don’t understand that, don’t feel their humanity, live for their projects, and as I say seem drifting and anomic, uncommitted to others and ready to change their minds and go in a different direction. Or perhaps never commit to one direction in the first place. And can’t be relied to help on when concerted community action working together is needed unless they are satisfied with the project or after a long drawn out discussion and a consensus (probably with much compromise) reached.

    • infused 7.1

      News is about doom and gloom. It’s what sells and what you lot eat up.

      • greywarshark 7.1.1

        nd looking for a reason not to look at the doom and gloom and do something to improve things is what you lot live on. Anything so that you don’t have to think, just jeers and yah boo and you lot are dumb. A schoolboy in trousers are you Infused?

  8. Philj 8

    Let’s not forget when a National Government (decades ago) removed the requirement for insulation in the Building Code from new houses being built. The Nats haven’t changed. Heartless and reckless. Brighter Future for whom?

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