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Government Ignoring Advice On Retirement Age

Government Ignoring Advice On Retirement Age

ACT New Zealand Spokesman Hon Heather Roy today condemned Finance Minister Bill English for continuing his Government’s refusal to even consider raising the retirement age beyond 65 and ignoring, even ridiculing, the advice of several experts who are recommending raising the age.

“I asked Mr English whether former Treasury Secretary John Whitehead, Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan and commentators Bernard Hickey and Gareth Morgan are all wrong in calling for the retirement age to be raised – as is being done by Labor in Australia – his answer was simply that these people should run for office,” Mrs Roy said.

“The Government pays experts like Mr Whitehead and Ms Crossan to give free and frank advice. It is unacceptable for Mr English to tell them to ‘run for office’ merely because he does not want to hear the home truths they are quite rightly telling him.

“A retirement age of 65 is unsustainable. Treasury predicted that by the mid-2020s New Zealand would have to either increase GST to 19 percent or raise income tax by an average of $30 a week just to continue paying for existing entitlements. Faced with such dire numbers the least Mr English could do is consider advice on the matter.

“All demographic figures suggest that raising the age is inevitable, the very worst that the Government can do is delay the inevitable and leave the problem for future generations to deal with. ACT believes that it would be far more caring for the Government to give retirees time to plan for their future by raising the age over a long transition period than it is to take the head in the sand approach that we are left with at the moment,” Mrs Roy said.


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