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Greens warned, “Don’t Tamper with Super Fund!”

For immediate release: 9 June 2005

Greens warned, “Don’t Tamper with Super Fund!”

The Grey Power Federation executive responded quickly and strongly to suggestions by the Green Party co-leader Rod Donald that part of the $6 billion Superannuation Fund be used “to pay for our student allowance (and) progressively writing off the debt of our young (university) graduates.”

Mr Donald’s comments, made in a speech at the National Green Party Conference in Christchurch over the weekend, “inevitably will greatly worry the more than three-quarters of a million retired New Zealanders,” says National Grey Power president Graham Stairmand.

“This proposal will have serious implications for the baby-boomer generation who are fast approaching the age of entitlement. The New Zealand Superannuation Fund is a cornerstone of Labour Government policy. We find it hard to believe that the Labour Party would be prepared to sanction this as part of a coalition deal.”

Mr Stairmand acknowledged the proposed policy “would not affect current superannuitants, but the Green Party has unfortunately been opposed to the Super Fund since its inception. It is absolutely deplorable that a workable retirement plan for older New Zealanders has once again become a political football.

“As much as we believe that tertiary education is both necessary and valuable for the future of this country, its funding is an issue quite separate to superannuation. The government that robs Peter to pay Paul is on very shaky ground indeed.

“Retired New Zealanders have earned the right to a decent, guaranteed and untouchable pension fund,” Mr Stairmand says. “We have given our working lives to building this country.

“Grey Power has lobbied for years to build and secure a dignified pension scheme. We fully support the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. We will not let it be chipped away, piece by piece,” says Graham Stairmand.


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