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National’s mates undermine NZ Superannuation

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister of Finance

7 May 2008 Media Statement

National’s mates undermine NZ Superannuation

Everyone looking forward to one day being entitled to universal New Zealand Superannuation should be worried when the National Party’s mates publicly undermine confidence in the system, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today.

“The Centre for Independent Studies, a soul-mate of National, is quoted in the New Zealand Herald today saying that universal New Zealand Superannuation is threatened because of the outstanding success of the separate voluntary savings scheme introduced by this government.

“It is twisted logic of a most perverse kind to argue that just because the voluntary KiwiSaver scheme has been very successful then that somehow implies that the universal right to New Zealand Superannuation is somehow threatened,” Dr Cullen said.

“The only thing consistent in today’s commentary from National’s mates is the same-old underlying right-wing hostility to universal NZ Superannuation being available to all at the age of 65,” Dr Cullen said.

During the Asian financial market weakness a decade ago the then National government used those overseas developments as an excuse to cut the floor of NZ Superannuation to just 60 per cent of the average wage (down from 65 per cent at the time and compared with 66 per cent under the Labour-led government today).

John Key has in the past expressed his view that NZ Superannuation should not continue to be available to all at the age of 65, while Bill English has said that New Zealand is being too generous with retirement support.

“In 2008, the National Party’s public statements on superannuation are unclear. That is why National has a duty to disassociate itself completely – and publicly - from the extremist agenda being promoted by its mates,” Dr Cullen said.


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