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Predictable, cynical and confused

16 July 2001 Media Statement

Predictable, cynical and confused


"National's stance on New Zealand superannuation is predictable, cynical and confused," Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today.

Dr Cullen was responding to National's announcement that they will vote against the formation of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, and their failure to propose any alternative.

"It is classic take-the-easy-option politics and will do National no good because their position lacks credibility and because they have misread the mood of the electorate.

"The public is sick of political games-playing and anxious for some stability and security around the superannuation issue.

"Like the Greens, National will vote for Part I of the New Zealand Superannuation Bill guaranteeing super at current entitlements. But they will not vote for the mechanism to pay for it.

"Instead they are talking about tax cuts and huge increases in spending, including restoring an air strike capacity.

"They are - as always - trying to have it both ways by putting up contradictory arguments and hoping no-one will notice.

"They have accused us loud and long of borrowing for the Fund. But they plan to blow any monies accumulated on a giant spending spree and send the bill to the next generation.

"New Zealanders will see that for the unfair, irresponsible and socially divisive policy it is. The whole idea behind partial pre-funding is to spread the burden of an aging population fairly between the generations.

"People will also remember National's record last time they were in power when they brought in tax cuts, found they could not afford them so cut the pension," Dr Cullen said.

ENDS


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