Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Greens take from the wise to pay for the foolish

The Greens are all in a funk about the Nats proposing to drop Labour’s “subsidise the wasteful” policy of paying for homeowners to insulate their own property. Their approach to this issue speaks volumes about what it thinks about incentives, rewards and penalties. Stuff reports on Jeanette Fitzsimons moaning about how she thinks it is a huge return on investment - which of course makes you wonder why people wont do it themselves.

Now having said that I support insulating state houses, as it increases their value for a future sale, but that isn't going to happen soon.

If you own your home, you either bought one with insulation or had it installed yourself, in either case you paid for it – with your own money. It’s called private property, a concept the Green Party has remarkably little time for. Presumably you did it for all of the good reasons the Green Party outlines, it saves money on heating, reduces risks of dampness and the related health problems (and damage to other property). In short, it can make very good sense to have insulation. However this is where the Greens, freedom and responsibility separate.

Choosing not to have insulation is a valid choice. The Greens don’t think it is, so want to bribe those who choose not to install insulation. What they don’t get, because they believe the state is some sort of benevolent Santa, is that the money to pay for this bribe comes from those who did choose to install it (and those who didn’t).

It is NZ$1 billion, not a paltry sum, over NZ$650 per household (more when you strip out state and council housing), a fair contribution to paying for installing insulation. That money could be returned to those who have and have not got insulation, and they could choose if they prefer insulation or prefer new clothes, a holiday in Australia or to invest it. Choices the Greens would disapprove of, because nothing is as important as the religion of “reducing emissions”.

So the Greens want to penalise those who have made a “good” choice and reward those who made a “bad” choice. Why? Jeanette Fitzsimons gives this banal explanation “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”

Worthwhile work!! Because the way YOU would have spent your money wouldn’t have been for worthwhile work, those shops, that business you own, the airline and hotel you may have bought a holiday from – that isn’t “worthwhile work”, no.

National has made the right move. Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for those who don’t see value in insulating their properties anymore than they should be paying for new carpet, better heating, new hot water cylinders or curtains. The Greens should butt out of the decisions that property owners make about their own properties, and if they want to help people get insulation, give them their taxes back, instead of rewarding those who can’t be bothered paying for insulation themselves.

Their press release that the Nats plan to keep homes cold and damp speaks volumes of their statist centrally planned mindset. The message kiddies is simple, if you own a house YOU are responsible for whether it is cold and damp. If you depend on a politician to fix it then you are too stupid and irresponsible to own a home, and if your child's asthma is exacerbated by it, what kind of a parent are you? The sort who votes Green and Labour to get other people to tell you what to do and give you money to do it I suppose.

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