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Cullen glosses over KiwiSaver concerns

Bill English MP
National Party Finance Spokesman

23 October 2008

Cullen glosses over KiwiSaver concerns

“Michael Cullen is deliberately ignoring serious concerns about the minimum contribution rates for KiwiSaver in a politically loaded attack on National’s plan to make the scheme more accessible,” says National’s Finance spokesman Bill English.

A departmental evaluation of KiwiSaver's first year of operation up to June 30 says ‘the minimum 4% contribution rate is the main feature that is discouraging enrolments’, and that opt-outs were prevalent among those on ‘lower incomes and younger age groups’.

“This is the nub of National’s argument. Those on lower incomes and younger Kiwis struggle to afford a minimum contribution of 4%.

“That was also the point that Trade Unions were making right up until the election came into view.”

Mr English says National’s KiwiSaver improvements will allow the scheme to become more enduring, because more people should be able to afford to opt in and fewer will opt out for affordability reasons.

“This needs to be laid alongside our plan to leave more in the pockets of Kiwi workers through an ongoing programme of tax cuts, and help New Zealand households meet their costs of living.”

ENDS

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