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National Needs to Come Clean Over Kiwisaver

Media Release

22 May 2007

National Needs to Come Clean Over Kiwisaver

National needs to come clean on how it plans to reverse our dreadful savings record and build a domestic investment base, says New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters

Mr Peters comments follow reports that National has adopted a 'say nothing now' strategy, but secretly intends to scrap the scheme altogether in favour of tax cuts.

"The simple fact is that the Australian Treasurer can afford five years of successive tax cuts because Australia's savings base is so well entrenched," said Mr Peters.

"If every New Zealander saved 9% of their income, and had been successfully saving similar amounts for the past fifteen years, as they have in Australia, then large tax cuts would be both a viable and desirable option.

"But our savings performance is abysmal, and KiwiSaver, in conjunction with cuts in the company tax rate, are concrete steps in the right direction. New Zealand First would have made adjustments in personal tax thresholds, but we also believe that building a savings base is our most pressing economic priority.

"If National intends to scrap the new scheme then they need to say so and be honest with New Zealanders. National must not return to the days of secret shady backroom deals thrust on an unsuspecting public.

"New Zealand First wants to build our economy to put an end to the current situation where we are working to make other countries wealthy in their retirement. A long-term savings plan is a critical element of that and it is why we would fight any plans to undermine KiwiSaver," concluded Mr Peters.


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