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John Key must end KiwiSaver confusion

27 May 2008 Media Statement

John Key must end KiwiSaver confusion

Having been forced to publicly commit to keeping KiwiSaver employer contributions in place, John Key must now fully execute his KiwiSaver u-turn and commit to keeping the full scheme in place, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said.

Hours after National’s Employment Relations spokeswoman Kate Wilkinson told a forum this morning that National would scrap employer contributions, National has come out in favour of the $2 billion-plus policy. The backdown came only after National first claimed Ms Wilkinson had not made the comments at all.

But later John Key refused to commit to rolling out the full four per cent employer contribution. When pressed by media this afternoon, Mr Key would only say that a National government would support compulsion at ‘pretty similar’ levels to now.

It is not clear whether this means ‘now’ as in the 1 per cent contribution required from 1 April this year or the 4 per cent that will be required from 1 April 2011.

“Just as National has finally started answering some questions on KiwiSaver – albeit accidentally – John Key has started raising new ones,” Dr Cullen said.

“Having already been forced to come out in support of compulsion, why would Mr Key leave everyone in the lurch – KiwiSavers and their bosses – by not committing to the full policy.

“Slippery language like ‘pretty similar’ will do nothing to reassure KiwiSavers. Mr Key must tell New Zealanders if he supports 4 per cent contributions or not.

“To avoid further confusion, Mr Key should come clean on his entire KiwiSaver policy.

“Would he keep the $1,000 kick start in place?

“Would he keep the government contribution of up to $1,040 a year in place?

“Would he keep the full employer tax credit in place?

“Would he keep the full support for first homebuyers in place?

“What is the ‘middle class sweetener’ Mr Key has be hinting about for KiwiSaver?

“It’s time to come clean Mr Key.”


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