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Greens open-minded on super changes

09 March 2000

The Green Party is keeping an open mind on superannuation changes proposed in yesterday's budget policy statement, Green Co-Leader Rod Donald said today.

"We are keen for Labour to provide us with more detail about the proposed changes before we decide whether or not to support the changes," said Mr Donald. "We are doing our own research on the impacts of pre-funding pension costs, but we are also looking at the advantages and disadvantages of the current pay-as-you-go system."

Mr Donald said the presentation of the new fund as the only option for super was of concern to the Green Party.

"While I accept there needed to be some reference to superannuation in the budget policy statement, I am concerned that Finance Minister Michael Cullen took the opportunity to preempt political and public debate about how best to pay for super."

Mr Donald said he had already raised concerns with the Government about the likelihood that a high proportion of a massive super fund would be invested offshore.

"This would do nothing to generate environmentally friendly investment and employment in New Zealand, which is one of the biggest challenges facing the country."

The Green Party would weigh up super options to see which scheme is the most sustainable, said Mr Donald.

"We want to see a secure and stable super scheme which has the widespread support of political parties and the public, and we believe this would best be achieved through a multi-party accord and entrenched legislation. Keeping the scheme simple and costs down would also be a priority," he said.

"It would appear Labour have already taken on board our concerns that any fund should be sourced from general taxation rather than solely from income tax. Sourcing the fund from income tax would preempt the introduction of eco-taxes, which look to shift the burden of taxation from workers to waste and pollution producers," said Mr Donald.

Rod Donald MP: (04) 470 6660 or 025 507 183 Gina Dempster, Press secretary: (04) 470 6723 or 021 1265 289


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