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Super committee must be above politics

Bill English
National Finance Spokesperson

Monday 27 November 2000

Super committee must be above politics

The Government's superannuation legislation is too far-reaching to be dealt with by an ordinary Government dominated select committee, National Finance spokesperson Bill English said today.

"We expect the legislation for Michael Cullen's super fund to be tabled within the next couple of weeks.

"We're yet to see the legislation, or be briefed on it. But from what we have been told, it is a far-reaching piece of legislation that will bind future Governments for generations to come. Whether this proposal provides certainty and security needs thorough scrutiny after revelations that a fully operative scheme would subsidise 14% of future pensions, way below public expectations.

"The Government has already dismissed our call for the proposal to be put before an independent, non-political panel of experts so this sort of issue can be clarified.

"If it won't go down that path, the Government should at least make sure that the select committee process is more than a political rubber-stamping exercise.

"National is calling for a special select committee to be set up. It should be chaired by an MP outside the Government with representation proportional to Parliament. This would ensure proper and thorough scrutiny of the proposal. The findings of such a committee would have more credibility with politicians and with the public.

"Parliament can't afford to make promises it can't keep on superannuation so the committee needs to be properly robust and open, not a lapdog of the Government," Mr English said.


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