Australian taxpayers have been owed so much for so long from Labor’s $2.5 billion ‘Pink Batts’ disaster that the Gillard Government is calling in the debt collectors, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Simon Birmingham said today.
A lingering ‘Pink Batts’ or Home Insulation Program debt of $21.8 million has been detailed by Climate Change departmental officials under questioning from Senator Birmingham at Senate Estimates, following the recovery of just $920,000.
The officials also outlined plans for the imminent engagement of ‘a mercantile agent’ or debt collector in plain English.
The Home Insulation Program, linked to at least four deaths and more than 200 house fires, was discontinued in February 2010.
“Labor’s ‘Pink Batts’ disaster has turned into the cost that keeps on taking from Australian taxpayers,” Senator Birmingham said.
“Australians will rightly be aghast to learn that Labor has recovered so little of the money fraudulently claimed by dodgy installers and has now had to resort to engaging debt collectors to try to get some of this wasted money back.
“Many people rightly believe they are owed an even greater debt from Labor as a result of the gross waste that occurred under this program.
“Sadly, Labor has effectively sent up in smoke most of the taxpayers’ money wasted under this program. All Australians can now hope for is that the debt collectors now engaged might get back a little of all that was wasted.”