KiwiSaver is racist

Many of you will know by now that I try to give my articles either clever (?) or downright stupid titles, all designed to draw in the reader. However, this article is based on a piece on Stuff that is so bad I couldn’t think of a sillier title than the one it already has. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

Yes. Apparently, KiwiSaver is ‘accidentally’ racist. This from Stuff: Quote:

The back story of KiwiSaver was the merging of three political wishes of the then Labour government.

1. Lift the savings rate for the good of individuals and the economy. Great. Not racist.

2. Give people a tax cut. Great. Again, not racist.

3. Not to let people spend that tax cut, but instead use  it to help create a long-term pool of retirement savings. Again, not racist.

The trouble is, the tax breaks/bribes paid to each KiwiSaver member were based on the amount they saved.

For someone to get the current full bribe, they needed to stick in just over $1000 a year.

The bribe paid to an individual is 50 cents for every dollar saved into KiwiSaver in the 12 months to the end of June. The maximum bribe a person can get is $521.

Pretty easy for households with higher incomes to get full bribes.

Much harder for lower income households and the unemployed coping with high rents as a result of us stuffing up the housing market.

A household with two grown-up KiwiSavers wanting the full bribe would need to set aside just over $2000 a year. Much easier for a household with an income of $100,000 than one with a household income of $40,000. End quote.

Oh, God. Here we go.

For the record, I was never a Helen Clark fan, but I thought KiwiSaver was the best thing her government ever did. It has changed people’s lives. Just a small amount from each pay and, a few years down the track, you have a deposit for a house or a few thousand saved for retirement. The tax savings are incentives, not bribes. There is nothing wrong with providing tax incentives for retirement savings. It should be encouraged.

What gets me most about this article is how it assumes all people on low incomes are brown skinned. How incredibly insulting. I have brown-skinned neighbours who both work in IT. From the European cars in their driveway, I would suggest they are not on low incomes. How would they feel if they read this article that assumed they only make $40,000 a year? THAT is racist.

The world of political correctness has gone so far these days that it now insults the people it purports to respect. There are lots of poor white people. There are lots of wealthy or middle-class brown people. Wealth and incomes are not race based. They never were, but they certainly are not now.

It is true that a KiwiSaver member must put $1,000 into their scheme each year to qualify for the full $521 tax incentive. This was not done to deliberately disadvantage brown people. It was done so that people who set up a scheme for their children to qualify for the original kickstart of $1,000 do not qualify for tax incentives on a yearly basis when they do not contribute anything to their schemes. Nothing to do with skin colour at all.

I wish we could move on from all this racist claptrap. I see brown people doing well in our society all the time, and good on them. Accusations of racism are absolutely everywhere, and they need to stop. The best way to deal with racism is to let it die a quiet death. I wish writers of ridiculous articles such as this one would see that.


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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