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Key and English admit plans to raid the Superfund

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Labour Party Deputy Leader
Finance Spokesperson

15 October 2008 Media Statement

Key and English admit plans to raid the Superfund

Having savaged KiwiSaver last week, John Key and Bill English have today announced that they plan to raid the New Zealand Superannuation Fund in order to pay for their pet projects, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today.

“Labour is totally opposed to giving the Minister of Finance the power to direct the fund,” Dr Cullen said.

"The whole purpose of making the fund independent of government was to ensure investment decisions are made by professionals. This is a fund to support the provision of universal superannuation to all New Zealanders in the years ahead. This is not the Finance Minister's piggy bank to raid for pet funds.

"It is essential that the fund makes strong returns. Today’s announcement that National would give the finance minister of the day the power to direct the fund to invest 40 per cent of its assets in investments that would not otherwise meet its test for returns, shows that National has no respect for the independence of the fund nor any concern for ensuring strong returns on the fund to protect pay for superannuation into the future.

"Why would those working at the moment trust future finance ministers with the power to direct the fund?

"Putting the fund at risk, puts everyone’s superannuation at risk, so what is National’s real plan for superannuation?

"Mr Key called Working for Families 'communism by stealth'. Giving the Minister of Finance the power to direct the buy up, over time, of large chunks of New Zealand’s private sector, is much closer to fitting this description.

"When it comes to protecting workers’ rights to universal superannuation - size does matter and today’s announcements make it clear the Cullen fund would be bigger than the English fund,“ Dr Cullen said.

Note to editors:

Yesterday, Labour announced that it would consult with the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation and KiwiSaver providers on what changes to current settings would most facilitate increased investment in New Zealand by their funds. Unlike National, we will not be legislating to give the Minister of Finance the power to direct the fund.


ENDS

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