Prime Minister Helen Clark has added the retrofitting of insulation into old homes to the list of projects the government is considering fast-tracking to boost the economy, saying it could help plug up job shortages for unskilled workers in the short term.
She said the plan could be introduced quickly compared to construction projects with a longer lead in time.
"There are things like retrofitting, which can involve relatively unskilled workers who have been displaced, so that's easily geared up.
"If you're looking to bring forward expenditure, retrofitting is something which could be reasonably achieved, so it's something that has got to go on the table in the range of options."
She said there were already initiatives under way on top of a $1 billion fund - currently due to be spent over 15 years - which the Greens secured as a condition of their support for the Emissions Trading Scheme.
Retrofitting was not included on the list of projects Labour is considering moving faster on, which it released as part of its economic stimulus plan nearly a fortnight ago.
It is planning to produce a mini-Budget in December, which will more clearly outline how it will change its spending priorities to address the recession.
Helen Clark added retro-fitting to the list at a community meeting at Taupo yesterday and later also visited Taupo Nui-A-Tia - one of the schools on the list which has a planned $2.85 million in funding for a gym and technology block. She did not promise any earlier funding, but did say the school project was an option to keep the building sector in Taupo rolling.
She spent the afternoon in Taupo with its MP, Mark Burton, who is fighting to hold on to the seat.
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