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Copeland welcomes Task Force

Media Statement

Friday, 14 May, 2004

Copeland welcomes Task Force

United Future superannuation spokesman Gordon Copeland today welcomed the
Government's decision to set up a working group to foster private savings
for retirement.

"I am delighted that at long last someone is prepared to grasp the nettle
on this issue," he said.

"By international standards, private savings for superannuation are poor
in New Zealand and successive governments have never seemed to figure out
that this is a direct result of poor policy and tax disincentives.

"A simple truism applies to public policy in this area: if government
wants more of something it should encourage it; if it wants less of
something it should discourage it..

"The present system which sees all income derived through superannuation
funds taxed at 33% even although the majority of New Zealanders pay tax at
19.5% has been a major discouragement and that anomaly needs to be removed
as quickly as possible.

"I have been consistently raising this issue with the Finance Minister,
Michael Cullen, since I came into Parliament in 2002 and, as far as I am
concerned, the Government can't move fast enough because time is against
us with the first of the baby boomer generation hitting 65 in 2010 - just
six years away."


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