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Alliance launch Super Policy

The Alliance will seek to restore the Superannuation Accord and increase the value of NZ Superannuation.

Alliance leader Jim Anderton went to the Prime Minister's electorate of Ashburton to announce the policy today because National betrayed the Superannuation Accord and then cut superannuitants incomes.

Now Jim Anderton predicts that if a National-Act government is re-elected it will cut Super again and try to reduce it to a means-tested benefit.

The Alliance will restore the base-rate of New Zealand Super to float between 65% and 72.5% of average weekly ordinary time after-tax earnings - the level provided for in the Superannuation Accord before the Shipley government cut the floor to 60% from 1 April this year.

Increasing the income of every superannuitant by $20 a week as the Alliance suggests will move the base rate of superannuation to around 68% of average weekly ordinary time earnings. That is still less than the level it was at when the Accord was signed by the Alliance, Labour and National in 1993.Jim Anderton says the last thing superannuation needs is revolutionary change.'It needs certainly and stability. The Accord provided for certainly because it built an all-party consensus around the fundamentals. The Alliance will seek to restore the Accord and improve the way it works.

'A Superannuation Commission will be established to oversee the system, and Superannuation will be made a permanent appropriation in the government's budget, meaning it would have the same status as the public debt instead of having to be passed in the budget year.

'None of the devices being offered such as a Superannuation Fund or compulsory savings scheme will provide any more certainty than the Accord, because Governments are always able to change the law. In addition, schemes funded entirely out of personal income tax instead of the full range of government revenue are much less fair and much more vulnerable.'

National and its potential coalition partners, NZ First and Act, all oppose NZ Super. They will turn it into a means-tested welfare benefit. They cut it last year and they could cut it again next year,' said Jim Anderton.

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