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Key threatens future of universal NZ Super

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of Finance

16 October 2008 Media Statement
Key threatens future of universal New Zealand Super

Finance Minister Michael Cullen says the future of New Zealand Superannuation is at risk now that John Key has announced National's policy which would permit politicians to direct the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

"Over the last nine years the Labour government has built a strong, sustainable base for New Zealand Superannuation. The NZ Superannuation Fund is the effective guarantee of an adequate level of New Zealand Superannuation for future retirees.

"On top of that, KiwiSaver is providing the opportunity for an ever increasing number of
New Zealanders to get into worthwhile private saving schemes to enhance their standard of living in retirement.

"Mr Key is prepared to gamble all of that in his quest for power on 8 November.

"Mr Key has said he did not hold strong views prior to entering Parliament. However, people that actually lived through the last quarter of last century, when superannuation was kicked around as a political football, fully understand what is at stake in this debate.

"Last week, National proposed to savage KiwiSaver. This week National proposes to raid the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. This is a very dangerous precedent and I believe that National understands this, but announced its policy nonetheless.

"Encouraging savings is very important for New Zealanders. It is important that senior politicians send a clear signal that they are serious about our savings future.

"We know this latest move by John Key is pure political opportunism because National has opposed every significant investment the Labour-led government has made in New Zealand.

"The National Party opposed Kiwibank, KiwiRail, they would slash KiwiSaver by at least half and they are now in breach of the Superannuation Accord signed by Labour and National, what will be next?" Dr Cullen asked.


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