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.
About 1600 more people die in winter than in summer, mainly of cardiovascular and respiratory causes.
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
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:
• 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?
— Motu Research (@moturesearch) May 22, 2017