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Super a key election issue - English

Hon Bill English National Party Leader

22 January 2002

Super a key election issue -- English

Superannuation will be a key election issue and one that Government must start telling people the full story about, says National Party leader Bill English.

"So far New Zealanders have only been fed a diet of misinformation and spin about the proposed super fund, without any chance of proper debate.

"Ms Clark and Dr Cullen have failed to explain just how exporting billions of dollars to overseas investment funds will benefit New Zealanders. Especially when that money would far better off invested in building up the infrastructure and research and development capabilities of this country," Mr English added.

"They have also neglected to mention that the vast majority of this super fund will be funded from borrowings. That's like running up the mortgage to invest in overseas sharemarkets," he explained.

Mr English says the Government was also being deceitful about National's plans for superannuation - deliberately misleading people by claiming it would not honour current superannuation entitlements.

"Let me make it clear, an incoming National Government would guarantee the current superannuation requirements to those people now in retirement and those nearing this point.

"However, where we do differ from the Labour/Alliance government is over the future funding of superannuation. National has not signed up to the super fund because the numbers just don't stack up," Mr English added.

He says an increasing number of economists are questioning the sense of the super fund as its obvious flaws - reduction in private savings, export of capital overseas and increase in government borrowings - become more apparent.

"It's about time Helen Clark and Michael Cullen fronted up to the public on the obvious weaknesses in their super fund and I look forward to pointing these out to voters in the lead up to the election," Mr English concluded.

Ends

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