Australian taxpayers have officially lost millions of dollars more as a result of bad debts now written off under Labor’s disastrous ‘Pink Batts’ Home Insulation Program, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Simon Birmingham has said today.
The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency has told a Senate Estimates hearing they are still chasing nearly $10 million fraudulently claimed by dodgy installers, but have written off debts of more than $15 million.
Officials have today detailed that: 
  • Under the Home Insulation Program itself:
    • $13.8 million has been written off from 488 debts
    • $6.7 million is still outstanding from 671 debts
    • Just $1.9 million has so far actually been repaid
  • Additionally, under the Insulation Industry Assistance Package (designed to help legitimate businesses recover from the Government’s disastrous intervention):
    • $1.9 million of debts have been written off
    • $3 million is still outstanding
    • Just $0.3 million has been repaid
What would become Labor’s $2.5 billion ‘Pink Batts’ disaster was announced in February 2009 but abandoned barely 12 months later and has been linked to at least four deaths and more than 200 house fires.
“Years after the dodgy installers were profiting and Australian households were ripped off under Labor’s poorly designed and poorly managed scheme, Australian taxpayers are still copping it in the hip pocket,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“Hundreds of people have gotten away with ripping off the taxpayer and the Gillard Government has given up trying to recover the money.
“The Department is still at least going through the motions in relation to debts not yet written off but has warned us that the expected rate of return is very low.
“Any further sums the engaged debt collectors can recover will not undo the pain this disastrous program Labor inflicted on so many Australians.”