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Superannuation Is Not At Risk

Don Brash MP
National Party Leader

03 March 2004

Superannuation is not at risk

National Party Leader Don Brash has called for honesty in the way in which political parties deal with the superannuation issue.

Addressing a meeting in Tauranga today, Dr Brash said both Labour and National Governments had misled the public during the 1980's and 1990's.

"In an area which is so fundamental to people's lives, New Zealanders deserve a much higher degree of honesty than has been on display from politicians."

Dr Brash attacked attempts by Labour politicians to paint him as favouring an early increase in the age of superannuation entitlement.

"Helen Clark and Michael Cullen seem to have embraced as their latest party trick promoting the fallacy that somehow the age of entitlement for superannuation would dramatically leap upwards by several years within weeks of my becoming Prime Minister. They do so knowing, indeed hoping, that some elderly folk will believe them. They do so indifferent to the needless worry that they will cause.

"Helen Clark and Michael Cullen know their statements are not true. And, in promoting this line, they are doing no better than other politicians have done on this issue over several rather shameful decades.

"For my part, I have no intention of being a party to misleading the public on this issue. In due course we will publish a policy on superannuation which takes full account of the realities which lie ahead of our country. But I am not here to announce that policy today.

"What I can tell you today is that there will be no early increase to the age of entitlement. It is simply not needed. But some time around the year 2020 the age of entitlement is going to be an issue, regardless of which party is in government, and regardless of the existence of the Cullen Fund.

"So, let me be quite clear: if the age of entitlement does have to be addressed in the future, it will not happen under any government of which I am Leader. It will not affect anybody now over 65. It will not affect anybody now over 60. It will not affect anybody now over 55. And it will not affect anybody now over 50.

"If the issue of age of entitlement needs to be addressed it will not be until the year 2020 or thereabouts. And the younger people of today, who will be affected by those changes, deserve to be dealt with honestly by their government. They are young enough to have the ability to make some better provision for themselves, but they will need to know where they stand.

"I give those people a commitment that they will be dealt with honestly by any government which I have the privilege of leading. And that is an approach which I earnestly recommend to the leadership of the current Government," Dr Brash said.


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