Peters: Superannuation Forum
Rt Hon Winston Peters
Panel Discussion at GreyPower public meeting,
Porirua Club, 1 Lodge Place, Porirua
12 August 2008, 1.30pm
A civilised society is measured by the way it treats its senior citizens.
No party cares more about the elderly than us. We have proved it.
Our philosophy is that superannuation, retirement, healthcare and daily living is a total package.
And you have a right to this because of your contribution to society.
Let’s face it, New Zealand was a better place when you were running it!
Today I would like to list five points for
after the election:
1. New Zealand superannuation will be increased.
2. We will subsidise your power bills in winter.
3. The SuperGold card will be extended to include discounts on more items that make up the cost of living.
4. We are going to make your communities safer.
5. We are going to do more to protect your savings and investments.
You are always playing catch-up. We are slowly but surely pushing up the rate. After the next election it will go from 66 percent of the net average wage to 68 percent.
2. Power Bills
We worry that senior citizens face soaring power bills. Some have to think twice about turning on the heater. We will subsidise winter power bills starting in June next year.
3. SuperGold Card
The first shipment of updated SuperGold Card directories – which contain over 850 businesses and nearly 5000 business outlets - were delivered last week. Hundreds of new businesses have joined since the card was launched. So use your new directory and the true benefits of the SuperGold Card will become even clearer.
In less than one year your card is more advanced than many equivalent cards in Australia.
When the free off-peak public transport kicks in later this year, along with the extra $500 subsidy for hearing aids it will be even more valuable.
4. Safer Communities
You have the right to feel safe in your homes and on the streets.
Unfortunately there are some local law and order problems.
We intend to put the local gangs out of business.
You’ll hear more about this later but we have a policy of banning gangs and of dealing to the crime that comes with them.
5. Investment Protection
The present situation is a shambles.
Over the past few months thousands of people have lost billions of dollars through finance and property company collapses and repayment moratoriums.
Many of those affected have been the elderly. Some have lost everything.
They are being penalised for being prudent and setting something aside for their retirement.
These finance cowboys have to be made accountable. We will do this.
New Zealand First has worked to gradually improve things for senior citizens. In October this year as tax cuts take effect for working New Zealanders, those on superannuation will get a major windfall.
For married couples this means just under $23 a week, with adjusted amounts for other rates of New Zealand Superannuation.
You see we said your superannuation needed to be higher – and it is.
But our commitment does not stop there.
This coming election is about some of the really basic issues.
It's about the survival of ordinary people in the face of oil price shocks, exorbitant interest rates, price rises, increased crime and threatened unemployment.
We are concerned that people who really should go to the doctor or buy a prescription can't afford to.
Food costs are soaring – the price of petrol is going through the roof.
We know that life is not easy for you.
We could go on but there is a simple message we have come to deliver.
New Zealand First will look after you.
You can rely on New Zealand First.