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Even a weasel would blush…

27 August 2003 Media Statement

Even a weasel would blush…

“I have come to expect prevarication and indecision from the National Party but this is ridiculous,” Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today.

He was referring to National Leader Bill English’s response to the government’s invitation to sign up to Parts One and Two of the New Zealand Superannuation Act 2001.

Part One entrenches in law existing entitlements for NZ Super. Part Two protects the future viability of the scheme through partial pre-funding via the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, now worth around $2.4 billion and about to enter the market.

“Mr English stated on July 17, 2001 that National would not support Part Two of the legislation but would sign up to Part One.

“But, when after nine months he eventually replied to my letter, he was no longer able to give that undertaking. All he was able to offer was that National’s position will be made clear in its public statements.

“Even a weasel would blush.

“Clearly pension cuts will be on the agenda if ever National is again in office. All which remains to be established is where the gashes will be made and how deep they will be.”

Dr Cullen said there was a clear majority both for the ‘from 65 at 65’ formula and for the New Zealand Super Fund in the present Parliament and that voters who valued security of income in retirement should take care that remained the case.

Labour, the Progressive Party and United Future have signed up to both parts of the Act. The Greens have signed up to Part One. Act, New Zealand First and National have declined to sign up to either.


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