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National’s Secret Superannuation Plan Revealed

A secret National party plan by to work-test superannuitants was revealed by Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey in Parliament this afternoon.

On 5 April 2002 there were 456,803 recipients of New Zealand Superannuation and the Veterans Pension. A further 349,720 New Zealanders were also receiving income support from Work and Income through the benefit system.

Steve Maharey said that a recent interview with National’s social services and employment spokesperson Bob Simcock in The Jobs Letter (28 March 2002) reveals that the party would work test recipients of New Zealand superannuation if it were elected.

“The Labour-Alliance Government is acutely aware of its duty of care to older New Zealanders. That’s why we have set retirement incomes at 65% of the average wage at the age of 65, and why we have set up the New Zealand Super Fund to ensure we can afford this commitment into the future.

“Since National announced it ‘tax cuts for the well-off’ package many commentators have been wondering out loud about how it plans to pay superannuation to the post-war baby boomers who will begin retiring soon.

“Bob Simcock has let the cat out of the bag. In an interview published in The Jobs Letter he says that the Government should be moving 805,137 recipients of income support off benefits and into work. Clearly that number includes those receiving New Zealand Superannuation. We now see how the National Party intends ‘funding’ retirement incomes – they are going to work test recipients of New Zealand superannuation.

“Labour welcomes this belated admission that National will cut eligibility to the pension. We have been honest with New Zealanders; funding the pension in the future will require us to put funding aside now. With National’s plans for the pension now revealed, voters will have a clear choice at the election,” Steve Maharey said.

Ends

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