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Monster scheme needs proper testing

Bill English

National Finance Spokesperson

Tuesday 10 October 2000

Monster scheme needs proper testing

Michael Cullen's super scheme is a monster which New Zealanders need to assess carefully before deciding it's the solution to their retirement worries National Finance spokesperson Bill English said today.

"The scheme poses more questions than it answers. For starters, I find it hard to believe that this Government, or any future governments, will generate all the surpluses needed to feed this monster.

"Without regular surpluses, the fund will never build up enough to give the baby boomers security.

"As we suspected, its implications are so vast that it must now be put to a fully independent panel for assessment.

"If Dr Cullen believes the scheme is robust, he should have nothing to fear from that.

"There are heaps of other questions, such as how the fund would be managed

"The best way to try to answer all the questions is to assemble an outside panel representing the wider community as well as representatives of political parties and ask the panel to look at the many unanswered questions surrounding the scheme.

"It's not good enough to put up a scheme that a couple of parties have cooked up without consulting other parties. Dr Cullen says he wants certainty and stability. An outside panel is the only way to ensure that.

"A select committee of politicians, dominated by Government MPs, is not a sufficiently robust forum to test such an important idea as the long-term future of superannuation. There must be wider community involvement in the decision.

"All politicians face a challenge to respond properly to the community's demand that we stop playing politics with superannuation. An independent panel is the best way we can do that," Mr English said.

Ends


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