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Cullen Over-Rides Advice On Super Fund

Finance Minister Michael Cullen appears to have ignored officials' advice that his super fund will lead to lower levels of private savings.

"Treasury papers obtained by National under the Official Information Act show that his private advice from officials was at odds with the material Dr Cullen chose to release when he launched the scheme," National Finance spokesperson Bill English said today.

"The papers he released on 10 October when the scheme was announced said it was 'not clear whether the establishment of the fund will affect household saving.'

"Treasury gave him that advice in June but by 2 October Treasury had changed its advice to Dr Cullen and was saying clearly that the international evidence suggested that moves to claim greater certainty in retirement income would lead to lower private savings.

"Even if the establishment of a super fund did increase public savings - which is a dubious assumption - this is likely to be offset by lower private savings.

"The Treasury view appears to be that the super fund will not address the structural imbalances in the economy as the Government claims.

"The Treasury points out that the best way to generate higher levels of savings is better economic performance," Mr English said.


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