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Alliance Party says it's time to invest in NZ

Alliance Party says it's time to invest in New Zealand, not financial speculators.

Alliance Party Media Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday October 3, 2008

Attention has recently turned to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, which lost value by 4.92 percent in the year to June 30, a loss to New Zealand of $716.5 million and according to Alliance party list candidate Matthew Stephen, the Superfund is starving New Zealand of the public investment it desperately needs.

Last year the government put a further $2.1 billion into the scheme while thousands of children remain in poverty, our health system teeters on the brink, and students are shackled with onerous levels of debt. "Why don't we put our money where our mouth is and invest in New Zealanders? What is particularly worrying is the destination of much of the money we send into the fund", says Mr Stephen.

He points out that the Superfund has invested in an array of unethical businesses, including the manufacturers of cluster munitions, nuclear weapons technology, and tobacco companies. While New Zealand portrays itself as a peace-loving and progressive country internationally, its sovereign investment fund is putting our money into the military-industrial complex and big tobacco companies.

Mr Stephen says the Alliance feels the best way to support the elderly in dignity is to invest in our own country and create a healthy, educated and productive population.

"Why should we send all our money offshore to support foreign business while New Zealand languishes with long-term unemployment, and under-investment in health and education?"

Rather than gamble our superannuation funds on casino capitalism, the Alliance would immediately stop payments into the fund and use that money to provide the services needed to raise our productivity and ensure full employment, the best guarantee to be able to support the elderly.

With regards to adequately providing for our senior citizens, the Alliance Party would:
Increase superannuation to 72.5 percent of the average after-tax wage.
Make superannuation available at reduced rates from age 55 until age 65.
End means testing of senior citizens needing long-term care.
Subsidise telephones and transport for senior citizens.

"These moves will be far better than investing in a fund which might not even provide a return for millions of future older New Zealanders in the long run," said Mr Stephen.

Ends.

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