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Super Scheme In Disarray

Super Scheme In Disarray

Friday 25 Jan 2002 Richard Prebble Press Releases -- Superannuation

The Finance Minister's admission today that the government is being forced to put $23 million a fortnight into a special account for the Cullen super scheme, because no guardians for the fund have yet been appointed, confirms ACT's claim that the scheme is off to a bad start," ACT leader Richard Prebble says.

"What Dr Cullen failed to mention is that the $23 million is borrowed at 6.44 percent and is only earning the fund 4.75 percent - in other words, it's costing taxpayers more than $83,000 a week and will continue to do so while the government fails to appoint guardians.

"The public won't be reassured about the bizarre process being followed.

"Instead of appointing top investment advisors, the government has advertised for people to nominate themselves as guardians. Apparently at least 100 people have put in for the well-paying job.

"Of course, the real reason the government is delaying investing the fund money is because most of it will be invested overseas, and Dr Cullen wants the responsibility for the investment decisions to be sheeted home to the guardians.

"Dr Cullen's potential coalition partner, the Green Party, has in the last 24 hours condemned the super fund, saying: `we don't believe building up a fund and investing it in overseas share and bond markets is the best way to pay for future superannuation. In fact we regard Dr Cullen's prescription as not merely benign but down right dangerous'.

"Thus, it seems the Cullen scheme won't last beyond the election. ACT wants to be reassured that the guardians will only be given a nine-month contract, so taxpayers won't be hit with a massive golden handshake after the election," Mr Prebble said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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