If you are old and frightened by Bill’s comments on super, don’t worry Winston has your hunched back

On the weekend Bill English was asked about superannuation. He basically stated he wouldn’t be held to John Key’s promise and all hell broke loose after that.

He actually didn’t say too much at all, such is his strategy of maintaining the election profile of a drinking lizard.

That hasn’t stopped Winston claiming his rightful place as the protector of pensioners.

“Kiwis are being railroaded into thinking New Zealand Superannuation is unaffordable,” says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“All sorts of self-appointed experts, including political parties, have in recent years been making alarming noises about the affordability of NZ Super and their views on how it should be changed. This doomsday narrative has the following features:

“First. They never mention that the net cost of GDP in New Zealand is 3.8 per cent, it is low by international standards and well below the OECD average of 7 per cent.

“Second. They unanimously ignore the over 86,000 older immigrants who have come to this country in the past 15 years and acquired NZ Super after only 10 years residency, whether they have paid taxation and contributed to this country or not.

That is a bloody good point on paying out pensions for immigrants who have been here after only 10 years. They have hardly contributed and now they are bludging.

“Third. The NZ Super Fund would be $50 billion today, not $33 billion, had National maintained government contributions instead of suspending them.

“Fourth. That National, Labour, United Future, The Māori Party and the Green Party have either been at the forefront or accepting of these constant challenges to the affordability of NZ Super.

“Fifth. That only one party, New Zealand First, has during its existence over the last 23 years sought to correct attacks on NZ Super by repealing the Surtax which Labour brought in in the late 80s, and National increased, having promised to repeal it.

“And when the National Party reduced NZ Super from 65 per cent of the net average weekly wage down to 60 per cent, New Zealand First successfully promoted a law change to set National Super’s net average weekly wage payment at 66 per cent, and then brought in the Gold Card to make that 66 per cent go further in thousands of business discount outlets, as well as the travel concession for retirees.

“The hypocrisy of the anti NZ Super proponents is arguing that Super is unaffordable, but then arguing that giving over 86,000 from overseas access to it after only 10 years is affordable. They’re condemned out of their own wanton mouths.

“In addition, if New Zealand was pursuing sound economic development strategies then we could look forward to doubling our GDP by 2050, which would mean that the ratio of affordability of NZ Super would be the same as it is today.

“The anti NZ Super proponents are in truth saying that they have screwed up this country’s economy and have no real plans to fix it other than flogging off state assets built up by our forefathers at a time when we did have a sound economy.

“The history of NZ Super since the advent of Rogernomics is one of political betrayal, political cop outs, and diversions from politicians having to face the truth of their economic incompetence on this and other issues.

“The message to all those retired and soon-to-retire is that there is only one party you can trust on this issue and that party is New Zealand First,” says Mr Peters.

I still fail to see why superannuation is universal. It should be like every other benefit and tested on the basis of need.

 

-NZ First

 


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