Richard Prebble Letter To PM On Superannuation
21 August, 2000
Rt Hon Helen Clark
Dear Prime Minister
The ACT NEW ZEALAND Party has been approached by the media and asked if we as a party would be prepared to enter into no-precondition multi-party talks regarding the future of superannuation.
As you know, the ACT party has always been willing to sit down with all the other parties and discuss superannuation.
ACT applied to join the Accord talks but were refused.
ACT did join the superannuation task force headed by Angela Foulkes - and found the talks very useful. We regret that the coalition disbanded the task force as some useful work had been done on the sustainability of different options.
This letter is to invite you as Prime Minister to call all the parties together to discuss superannuation.
It is important for us all to recognise that:
1. Over 80% of the electorate wants the political parties to reach a lasting consensus on super;
2. Having every new government change superannuation is very unsettling; and
3. We have a short window of opportunity before the baby boomers retire to put in place a sustainable scheme.
ACT has strong views on superannuation. As the party of fiscal prudence, ACT feels strongly that any scheme must be actuarially sound.
As the party of choice and individual responsibility, ACT favours a savings based scheme in people's own names.
Nevertheless, to achieve the objective of removing superannuation from party politics and to achieve the goal of a long term sustainable scheme ACT is prepared to come to the talks without preconditions. ACT recognises that to achieve a cross-party consensus there must be some compromise.
ACT understands from media statements that the Minister Of Finance Dr Cullen, has some proposals to pre-fund superannuation from taxation. If the government is genuinely seeking a consensus it would be advisable to call multi-party talks where this proposal can be examined. On the face of it pre-funding superannuation makes no more sense than pre-funding the DPB. I note that economists and authorities on superannuation have been almost universal in expressing reservations about the finance minister's proposal.
If the government is prepared to call multi-party talks on behalf of the ACT party I give an undertaking that we will examine every parties proposals, including Dr Cullen's, with an open mind. ACT believes that such talks would increase public confidence if we were to publish the officials' advice for public scrutiny and comment. We need to take the public with us on any proposal we determine upon.
I look forward to a positive response from yourself. I am forwarding a copy of this letter to all other party leaders.
LEADER, ACT NEW ZEALAND
CC: Rt Hon Jenny
Shipley, Leader, The National Party
Hon Jim Anderton, Leader, The Alliance
Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader, New Zealand First
Rod Donald & Jeanette Fitzsimons, Co-Leaders, The Greens
Hon Peter Dunne, Leader, United New Zealand