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Littlewood report rebutted

Labour
2000 web siteLabour Deputy Leader Michael Cullen said today the criticisms of Labour's superannuation scheme by Michael Littlewood and others had been heard before from the same ideological quarters.

"All Mr Littlewood is really saying is that he wants to ensure that the future retired do not enjoy the same relative standard of living as the present retired. Labour wants to ensure the exact opposite - that the future retired do share the same relative standard of living as the present retired.

'To do that does require us over the next 20 years to forgo some consumption in order to put money away in a savings fund to assist in the future payments of New Zealand Superannuation. It is absolutely correct that if this was not done, there could be more consumption for the current generation.

"But that would imply a much lower standard of living for future retired New Zealanders.

"This is no different from the situation every single individual faces in choosing between savings for the future and current consumption.

"Mr Littlewood is quite right to say in effect that in order to ensure the current relative standard of living is maintained, a larger share of the national cake will have to go to retirees in a generations time than is the case at the moment.

"Mr Littlewood seems to assume that the share of the cake must be constant and therefore each individual must receive a smaller slice in the future. That is not Labour's policy. It is neither politically sustainable nor socially desirable.

"Mr Littlewood has made absolutely no technical criticisms of the scheme. His criticisms are ideological ones," Dr Cullen said.


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