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Age Concern Manawatu Welcomes Super Bill

Age Concern Manawatu
Media Release
Sunday, 14 October 2001

Age Concern Manawatu Welcomes The passing of the New Zealand Superannuation Bill,

It is relieved "That Dr Cullens super dream has become a reality"

The passing into legislation of " The New Zealand Superannuation Bill "
Is to be applauded.

A Tad worrying is that, whereas all parties baring New Zealand First, accepted part one of the Bill in its entirety National Act and the Greens Voted against part two.

Winston Peter's argued that the level set for a married couple at 65% of the net after tax average wage was to low. He argued that the level should be raised to 72.5%. This was upper the limit set by the 1993 Accord on Superannuation.

Even at this level each individual only receives 36.25% of that average wage. Hardly over generous!!!

National Party spokesman Lockward Smith recently held a public meeting in the City. At it he attacked the Governments Superannuation Plan, but offered no alternative. He more than once stated to the mature audience "You will be all right"

He was asked, but what of our children and Grand Children? There in lies the rub/

A Bit of a worry for Age Concern Manawatu is that eight years on from The Accord there is still no agreement between all the political parties on the long-term future of New Zealand Superannuation.

The process of ageing is relentless each in their turn will require help and support in their twilight years.

Age Concern Policy supports the UN Principles for Older Persons. We endorse the need for Older New Zealanders to maintain their independence, be able to participate in their communities, have access to adequate care and above all maintain their dignity.

Age Concern Manawatu
Media Release Page 2

This requires an adequate level of s Universal Superannuation paid as of right, coupled to a fair tax system.

The debate over compulsory Superannuation threw into stark relief the numbers of our citizens who have no show of saving for retirement. It is no wonder New Zealand Superannuation is the sole means of income for the vast majority of those retired.

The shift by the National party from ideology to political reality on the question of New Zealand Superannuation was demonstrated at their last national conference. This bodes well for the policies that are yet to come from that party.

It is good to know that younger national party MPs like Rangitikei's Simon Power believe their party should return to more centrists less idealist policies.

It is a forlorn hope that New Zealand Superannuation will ever be taken out of the political arena.

Age Concern Manawatu urges all Parties who oppose "Part two" of The New Zealand Superannuation Bill not to unduly delay putting forward their alternative policies.

It will be a sad thing if New Zealand Superannuation is to be an election issue. Half a million or so older voters will surely encourage pragmatism over ideology, in the writing of alternative Superannuation Policy.

The aim must be to give certainty to all generations that New Zealand Superannuation is sustainable, and will be available to future generations.

Don Robertson


President Manawatu Age Concern 3586928.


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