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Massive superannuation misinformation campaign

Jim Anderton Alliance leader Jim Anderton is accusing the Super 2000 Taskforce of a massive misinformation campaign as it tries to soften up the public for the abolition of New Zealand Superannuation.

He says a planned Super 2000 campaign launch on Friday morning is based on scandalous distortions about superannuation.

'The Shipley Government wants to abolish New Zealand Superannuation and replace it with an abated social welfare benefit at the level of the dole or a sickness benefit.

It is using the Super 2000 Taskforc e to soften up the public by saying things about superannuation that are simply not true,' Jim Anderton said.

Super 2000 Taskforce Chair Angela Foulkes has sent out a letter about the campaign launch and Jim Anderton is staggered by the inaccuracies in some of the statements it contains.

'Ms Foulkes alleges that 'there is no political agreement on long-term retirement policy, but all parties accept today's policy must change.

' That ignores the fac t that there is an Acco! rd signed by the Alliance, Labour, National and United which commits all parties to New Zealand Superannuation.

The Accord is a declaration by all parties that the present scheme is sustainable for the long term.

'As a disreputable Government working party, the Super 2000 taskforce cannot speak for us in claiming we want to destroy NZ Superannuation just because National now does.

'Ms Foulkes also resorts to the red herring that the number of people aged over 65 is increasing compared to the number of peop le working.

What she doesn't say is that New Zealand's dependency ratio (the number of non-working people compared to the number of working people) will not reach the level it was at during the sixties until about 2050.

As long as the economy grows slightly faster than the increase in the number of over-65s, Super will remain affordable.

That requires annual GDP growth of barely more than 1%.

'Ms Foulkes also fails to mention that NZ Super is falling as a proportion of t! otal government revenue.

In 1993, Super consumed 20% of the! Government's spending.

Now it takes less than 15%.

'The falsehoods being spread by the Super 2000 Taskforce are an outrage, and cannot possibly be the basis for an adequate information campaign, nor a sound policy for the future.

'Jim Anderton said the Alliance would challenge at every level the use of public money to spread misinformation about superannuation.

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