Cat fight: Ardern vs Kaye

Nikkie Kaye calls out Jacinda Ardern over superannuation:

Youth Minister Nikki Kaye has taken a swipe at freshly-appointed Labour deputy Jacinda Ardern over her “flip-flopping” on raising the pension age.

Kaye, 37, and Ardern, 36, will both have to wait an extra two years for state superannuation under National’s plan to raise the age of eligibility to 67 by 2040.

The pair have history after Ardern ran against and lost to Kaye in the largely young professional electorate of Auckland Central in the previous two elections – their contest was labelled the “Battle of the Babes”.

Speaking to media on Tuesday morning, Kaye said many of her friends assumed they wouldn’t get anything from the state when they retired and raising the age was the “most honest thing to do”.  

Labour have trashed the policy saying the government should never have stopped contributions to the super fund and leader Andrew Little has ruled out raising the age on his watch despite the party campaigning on the issue at the last two elections.

Kaye called the opposition out for reversing their position saying, “it disappoints me in terms of Labour, because I think if you look at a number of statements made by people like Jacinda Ardern, it was very clear that they thought the age needed to change so they’ve flip-flopped massively”.

National has also changed its position after former Prime Minister John Key vowed he would quit before raising the superannuation age.

“I agree that we have changed our position but that is more an issue of timing and saying we’re now in surplus and have the opportunity to make those decisions and that’s what we’re doing,” Kaye said.

“I think if you really test some of those Labour MPs, including I think Jacinda Ardern and you look at the statements she made, do they really think it’s affordable on the current settings? I think the answer is no.”

Jacinda Ardern said this on Radio Live in 2012:

In three years, superannuation will cost more than the entire education budget; preschool, primary, secondary and tertiary put together.

It will grow to be 20 times the cost of unemployment benefits. We need to ask if the universal age of super is set at the right place. But rather than tackle this big issue for the sake of future generations who want a home, a secure retirement and a country with a sound savings plan, they continue to target them and burden them with debt.

Politics can’t just be about making decisions that anger the least number of people possible, it has to be about doing the right thing. Labour’s view that superannuation should be lifted is one that we think needs to be phased in from 2020.

Jacinda is dancing on the head of a pin in explaining her flip-flop away.

But Ardern, who recently won the Mt Albert by-election, has hit back saying her argument has only ever been about “affordability”.

“Andrew has reiterated we want to make contributions to the savings scheme to ensure we are able to afford people’s retirement. Bill English has not done that – he’s delayed contributions to the super fund and he’s essentially said that it’s my generation that’s going to pick up the tab.”

She said her generation would be “carrying the burden of the debt for many of the things the government has postponed”.

Whatever Jacinda. You and Andrew Little fought tooth and nail to raise the age for two elections. Now you oppose it, you claimed it was right back then, how is it wrong now?

 

– Fairfax

 


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