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Revised Figures for Super annuitants living in poverty

Media Release 

From:

Date: 28/02/2014

Subject: Revised Figures for Super annuitants living in poverty

It is disappointing that an error in counting the estimates of after-tax income as released by Statistics NZ, Treasury and the Ministry of Social Development has occurred. However it is no surprise to Grey Power that 50 per cent (73,500), not the previously released figure of 28 per cent (approximately 41,000) of super annuitants who do not own their own homes now live in poverty.

“We have maintained for many years that older people without private, supplementary retirement income, especially super annuitants who live alone and who do not own their own homes, are being incrementally impoverished year by year.

Successive governments have simply ignored the need for a statistical series which establishes the monetary value of a living wage. In this vacuum we are simply heard, offered platitudes and then ignored until the next crisis occurs. 

The Minister of Finance's bland assertion that things have improved since the census was taken is not good enough. Organisations like our own need to be given continuing oversight of the joint measurement and monitoring activity of Statistics N.Z. and Treasury. We are not prepared to wait 5 years for another census to reveal that the disastrous path we are presently treading is leading to further breakdown in our society" said Lew Rohloff, chair of the Grey Power Superannuation and Taxation National Advisory Group.

Furthermore as Grey Power President, Roy Reid points out “many of these super annuitants cannot afford even the basic necessities of life; insufficient income means they often go to bed early in winter to save electricity costs, their nutritional needs are not met and they do not access medical help when required. Governments must lead society in caring for New Zealand’s vulnerable people.”

ENDS

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