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Grey Power: Super adjustments an election issue

NZ Greypower Federation Press Release: 12 July 2002

Grey Power Federation to make superannuation adjustments
an election issue

Helen Clark's rejection of Grey Power requests last year for a twice-yearly superannuation adjustment to offset common annual price increases makes this a serious election issue for us, New Zealand Grey Power Federation spokesman Frank Moloney said yesterday.

"Thousands of our New Zealand superannuitants are facing hardship and are struggling to survive due to the recent high price increases in essential living costs such as local body rates, power and heating, food price, and health care," Moloney says.

"Many of these large consumer price increases are introduced in the early months of the year and completely cancel-out any value from the April Consumer Price Index' (CPI) yearly adjustment to NZ superannuation entitlements. To help counter the extra burden, Grey Power recommended to government that adjustments be made twice yearly, in April and October, as is done in a number of other countries"

Moloney says that currently New Zealand Superannuation (CPI) adjustments are related to consumer price increases during the previous year to the end of December. These are paid from the following April to compensate superannuitants for those previous year's increases.

Prime Minister Helen Clark rejected Grey Power's proposal saying the initial cost of the programme would be $25m.

Moloney refutes the suggestion of extra expenditure. "This is only an initial advance on the standard superannuation payment," he says. "It does not increase the overall expenditure. It actually introduces a smoother curve to the adjustments of superannuation."

Moloney says the issue has been supported by the Grey Power Federation, and will be now be tested public in the public arena. Active since 1985, the New Zealand Grey Power Federation has a paid membership of 76,000. There are almost 450,000 superannuitants in New Zealand.

Ends. 282 text words

Further information from Frank Moloney, Ph (06) 367 9117 Fax (06) 367 9145
Prepared by: Don Polly and Allison Webber, (04) 905-8595
Distribution bill to: Don Polly, 136 The Parade, Paekakariki, (04) 905-8595

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