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Key Grossly Irresponsible on Super, Says Brash

Key Grossly Irresponsible on Super, Says Brash

Prime Minister John Key is being grossly irresponsible in rejecting out of hand the sage advice of the Retirement Commissioner regarding the age of eligibility for New Zealand Super, according to ACT New Zealand Leader Dr Don Brash.

In her three-yearly review of retirement income policy, Commissioner Diana Crossan recommended raising the age from 65 to 67 over a 13-year period beginning in 2020.

The Prime Minister has rejected that advice, saying his most important priority is to build a strong economy.

“It seems to have eluded Mr. Key that putting New Zealand Super on a sustainable basis is part of building a strong economy,” says Dr Brash.

“As Ms Crossan observed yesterday, “Something will have to change to keep New Zealand Super affordable for the long term. We know there’s a huge number of baby boomer superannuitants coming, and we can’t keep on ignoring the issue until it’s too late.

“Mr. Key apparently thinks he can.

“He’s prepared to overlook all the pointers to looming disaster, as well as buck more sensible international trends, for the sake of electoral popularity.

“The price of this unprincipled approach will be paid by those in the work force who will have to sustain an ever- burgeoning number of longer-living superannuitants.

“The double-whammy for the former is that if changes aren’t made, New Zealand Super won’t be there for them.

“What the Retirement Commissioner has suggested is a modest, gradual adjustment that doesn’t even begin for another nine years. It’s no surprise that Phil Goff scoffs at the idea, but for the Prime Minister to reject such prudent advice from the public servant paid to give it betrays a lack of leadership at a pivotal moment.

“As Ms Crossan observed, politicians appear to have their heads in the sand on this issue.

“As usual, ACT is the only exception,” Dr Brash concludes.


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