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National's Super Committee A Super Cop-out

"After promising us a policy on superannuation, all National has managed to deliver is a committee," Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today.

Dr Cullen was commenting on the Supplementary Order Paper lodged yesterday by National's superannuation spokesperson, Bill English.

The SOP proposes the formation of a 10-member New Zealand Superannuation Authority which would be responsible for overseeing the delivery of New Zealand Super.

"The proposed authority is a cop-out to hide National's lack of a credible alternative to the government's partial pre-payment scheme.

"But it also reveals National's real agenda as the authority's primary task would be to review all pension entitlements at least once every six years to ensure the continuing medium-term sustainability and affordability of New Zealand Superannuation.

"That is fancy language for cuts," Dr Cullen said.

"National should have the courage of their convictions. If they do not think the pension is affordable on current terms, they should vote against Part I of the New Zealand Superannuation Bill.

"Instead they will show the kind of weasel politics the country has come to expect of them on this issue. They will vote for Part I and even as they do, they will be conspiring to find a way to defeat the legislation's intentions.

"That is despicable," Dr Cullen said.

Ends

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