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Dunne: Superannuitants getting ripped off

Wednesday, 11 August, 2004

Dunne: Superannuitants getting ripped off

Superannuitants will be up to $10 a week worse off than they should be by the end of the year, United Future leader Peter Dunne told a Wanganui Grey Power audience today.

The deficit is directly due to the Government's failure to consistently peg superannuation levels at the required 65 percent of the gross average wage.

"The periodic catch-up always works in favour of the Government, much to no one's surprise. United Future will be working on getting that put right.

"Older New Zealanders reliant on super aren't flush with cash. It might not seem a lot, but it should be your money and not remaining in Government coffers," he said.

Overall, United Future's commitment to families makes for a very natural fit with older New Zealanders, Mr Dunne said.

"And that fit works on a number of levels," he said.

"Older New Zealanders have a huge commitment to their families - to their children and their grandchildren, and this has not been recognised enough.

"And often it is very much a hands-on commitment, with quite a number of grandparents actually raising their grandchildren, right down to putting their hands into their own pockets to help out family, or helping fund a grandchild's education."

Mr Dunne also addressed the issue of health costs for older New Zealanders, with rising health insurance premiums forcing many to cancel their policies at the very time that most need insurance cover.

"United Future is looking at ways of addressing this issue, including better integration between public and private health systems, and a possible tax rebate on health insurance for those over 65," he said.


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