The hypocrisy of Labour over superannuation

The previous post talked about the swapsies going on in superannuation policy. Bill English isn’t being held to John Key’s promise, and Andrew Little is ignoring Labour policy at the last election. All this is confusing to voters.

While Labour had a policy on superannuation at the last election that was called brave, they did want to increase the age of eligibility:

Labour would raise the age of eligibility for New Zealand Superannuation to 67, make KiwiSaver compulsory for employees and increase the KiwiSaver contribution rate if voted into power.

Deputy Labour leader David Parker told members of the superannuation industry his party was not afraid to tackle the age of eligibility issue despite it being politically challenging.

“I am willing to deal with the age of eligibility for superannuation. This is not populist politics.”

After David Cunliffe’s Labour got rinsed by John Key they abandoned their policy. Then in 2015, Andrew Little was saying the costs of superannuation scared the bejesus out of him:

Labour Leader Andrew Little has stumbled into a political hornets’ nest by appearing to say for the first time that Labour could deny or reduce New Zealand Superannuation to people who were also working over the age of 65

Little spoke this morning at a post-Budget briefing for business leaders in Wellington and was quoted by the New Zealand Herald’s Claire Trevett as saying Labour would consider means testing the currently universal pension, or at least that he thought that working pensioners should not receive the full New Zealand Superannuation.

Little’s office later denied that means testing was being considered, but confirmed he had said it was unfair and costly to pay New Zealand Superannuation to workers earning income over the age of 65.

Little said the rise in the cost of New Zealand Superannuation towards NZ$30 billion a year was “terrifying.”

“If there’s one thing that scares the bejeesus out of me, it’s the looming cost of superannuation. That’s a significant chunk of the Budget,” Little was quoted as saying.

Changing the age of eligibility is about the only tweak that could be made without too much fuss. But that doesn’t suit Labour now. They want the age to stay the same.

Now they are showing their rank hypocrisy by criticising Bill English for his comments on super at the weekend.

Labour leader Andrew Little said today that Super entitlements were a very sensitive subject, and English’s comments would worry New Zealanders.

“To continue with very vague language is at the very least clumsy, but will also cause considerable anxiety.”

Little wants the eligibility age to stay the same but has promised to resume contributions in his first Budget if in power. Labour previously campaigned on a higher eligibility age but Little scrapped that policy when he became leader.

No wonder no one believes Labour anymore.

They had a policy to change superannuation, now they don’t…and they are bashing the government for the merest of a hint that changes could be coming. Bill English never made the commitment that John Key made so he is free to change all he likes. Labour had increasing the age of eligibility as an election plank and pushed it hard and even called John Key a coward for refusing to budge.

Labour are all over the place on superannuation like a mad woman’s poo.

At least Winston Peters is consistent in his approach to superannuation.

 

-NZ Herald

 


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