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Key reminded of his own words on KiwiSaver

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister of Finance

31 January 2008 Media Statement

Key reminded of his own words on KiwiSaver

John Key should be asked to reconcile his own statements on KiwiSaver with any flip flop he may or may not execute today, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said.

Dr Cullen’s call for clarity follows National’s confirmation that KiwiSaver is on the agenda for the Party’s caucus retreat in Rotorua.

“John Key may say nothing about KiwiSaver today as National has voted against it every single time they got a chance, including just over five weeks ago” Michael Cullen said. “There can be no question that John Key and Bill English are ideologically opposed to helping New Zealanders save for their retirement.

“Mr Key can say whatever he wishes today, but his past comments on KiwiSaver show that he simply cannot be trusted to implement his promises. Flip flops today mean we can expect flip flops tomorrow.

“In the mean time, the Labour-led government is working hard on the successful implementation of the 1 April enhancements to KiwiSaver, including employer contributions and the tax credits that will support them.”

In 2005, KiwiSaver was the major casualty of John Key’s widely derided ‘alternative budget. When asked by Mark Sainsbury if National would keep KiwiSaver Mr Key replied,

“Nope, terribly designed system.”

Then in February 2006, before the major enhancements to KiwiSaver were announced, John Key attacked the lack of incentives in the scheme and said,

“…KiwiSaver is a glorified Christmas Club and its design is fundamentally flawed. “

Then in August last year, after major incentives were introduced in May’s Budget, John Key professed his commitment to the original design he had previously attacked, saying,

“…first mark I version of it worked very, you know, was probably gonna be successful and not too bad.”

Already, over 380,000 New Zealanders are in KiwiSaver, with hundreds joining everyday.


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