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Labour Deceiving Elderly Says Peters

Media Release
12 April 2005

Labour Deceiving Elderly Says Peters

Dr Cullen’s desperate manipulation of superannuation figures can’t conceal the fact that Labour is deceiving senior citizens over the level of payments says Rt Hon Winston Peters.

Mr Peters was responding to the Finance Minister’s bizarre calculations of the cost of New Zealand First giving senior citizens a small increase in superannuation payments and some help with power, telephones, rates and medical costs.

“The Finance Minister has bullied Treasury into a campaign of misinformation and fanciful projections of hypothetical costs on the wrong percentage of superannuation, ten years hence.

“This approach lacks both honesty and accuracy and is a another blatant attempt by Labour to hide its shame over what it is doing to the elderly.

“Dr Cullen does not seem to be aware that some elderly people are living on $255 a week - because that is the rate of their superannuation. This is the real poverty line and we know that a number of elderly people are struggling to survive on this income.”

Mr Peters said that in 1993 Labour had signed up to a state pension level of between 65 and 72.5 percent of the Net Average Wage.

“Someone should ask Dr Cullen why he keeps superannuation at 65 percent and lower. This is the same minister who is spending hundreds of millions seducing various sector groups yet consigning the elderly to the social and economic scrap heap.

“The minister is a student of economic history. He appears focused on Victorian England where the elderly were sent to workhouses, poorhouses or an early grave,” said Mr Peters.

ENDS

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