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Nats betray accord on universal pensions - again

27 August 2003

Hon Jim Anderton MP, Progressive Leader

National betrays accord on universal pensions - again

The National Party's failure to commit to universal government-funded superannuation for all New Zealanders is a massive betrayal of that once significant party's previous commitments, Progressive leader, Jim Anderton, said today.

"I am both surprised and disappointed at the news that National has – in 2003 - adopted the extreme position of ACT on an issue which is of critical importance to the future well-being of all New Zealanders," Jim Anderton said.

"I have been involved for over a decade in promoting cross-party commitment to government-funded universal superannuation for retired people.

"During the 1990-1993 term, when National got itself seriously off-side with the public after it adopted the ACT-type policies of Ruth Richardson, I strongly promoted a cross-party Accord on Retirement Income to which parties including National and Labour were able to commit themselves," Jim Anderton said.

"I promoted that accord in the full knowledge that it was a political life-line to both National and Labour at the time because of the betrayals of the elderly by both parties in government in the late 1980s and early 1990s when they adopted the policies of Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson," the Progressive leader added.

Roger Douglas is now a member of the ACT Party and the National Party has this year moved to adopt most of ACT's key policies and values.

"What is absolutely clear is that the provision of adequate income into retirement depends upon maintaining the Labour-Progressive coalition government and rejecting those irresponsible parties that continue to pretend that this country doesn't need to start making financial provision now in order to guarantee future government superannuation for all," he added.

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