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National's plan will take $3 bn off regular Kiwis

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of Finance

23 October 2008 Media Statement
Evaluation results show National's plan will take $3 billion off regular Kiwis

An independent evaluation of Labour's KiwiSaver scheme released this morning shows that despite the rhetoric of National and its cheerleaders, KiwiSaver is a scheme for regular New Zealanders, says Labour Deputy Leader Michael Cullen.

"The National Party should put away its ideological blinkers and allow some facts to get in the way of their risky threats to destroy KiwiSaver.

"The evaluation, a joint project between Housing New Zealand, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Inland Revenue Department, tells a very clear story.

"Since being launched in July last year, KiwiSaver has become a hit among regular New Zealanders. Remarkably, 827,000 New Zealanders have signed up since July last year. a clear majority of KiwiSavers earn less than $50,000 a year - so National's demolition proposal would hurt, not help, middle and lower income Kiwi families.

"National Party's proposal to rip $3 billion a year out of KiwiSaver would take money off these families.

"KiwiSaver is much more than just about personal financial security - it is also about strengthening our economy by promoting savings and investment. At 30 June, $1.04 billion was invested in KiwiSaver schemes.

"John Key's policies are not just an attack on New Zealanders' savings they are also an attack on New Zealand's long-term economic strength.

"John Key can no longer hide behind his prejudices. The good news is that this report will help all New Zealanders to get up-to-date with the facts on KiwiSavers and support Labour's campaign to protect New Zealand from National's anti-Kiwi agenda,"Dr Cullen said.

Some findings of the evaluation report:
• Since being launched in July last year, 827,000 New Zealanders have signed up - more than double what was forecast.
• The demographic profile of KiwiSavers is much broader than initially anticipated by officials and many commentators with approximately equal numbers of men and women joining up, while 44 per cent were under the age of 35 years.
• A clear majority of KiwiSavers earn less than $50,000 a year - so National's demolition proposal would hurt, not help, middle and lower income Kiwi families.
• At 30 June, $1.04 billion was invested in KiwiSaver schemes.


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