Helen Gets Her Sums Wrong
29 June 2002
“The Prime Minister’s attempts to con voters into opting for a one party government have foundered on bad logic and worse arithmetic,” New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters said.
“Ms Clark is trying to undermine the New Zealand First vote by asking how we can afford to pay superannuation if we don’t keep up the flood of immigrants? The logic behind that question is querulous, but the arithmetic is even worse.
“We are currently paying the equivalent of a pension to school aged immigrants who are overcrowding our schools, especially in Auckland. We are paying more than the equivalent of the pension to unemployed immigrants who have got here on family reunification tickets. Sleras and Spoonley (1999) identified that up to 68% of the migrant population was not engaged in the economy,” Mr. Peters said.
“We are paying to have our sick go to Australia for treatment while our health system comes under pressure from the migrant flow. We could be about to pay hundreds of thousands of pensions to refugees invited here by the Labour cabinet. We lose billions of dollars in lost productivity and extra fuel costs on Auckland’s grid locked roads, Mr. Peters said.
“That is how we could pay a decent pension in the future, Ms Clark. By having a population policy that gives priority to immigrants who bring skills and talents that grow our economy, and by not being a soft touch for an uncontrolled number of migrants, many of whom are looking for a back door entry to Australia and have little interest in making a contribution to New Zealand,” Mr. Peters said.