The cost of New Zealand superannuation is forecast to rise by 33% in the next four years, showing the urgent need for the Government to commit to raising the retirement age, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.
“The cost of superannuation is forecast increase by an astonishing 33% in four years. By contrast, education spending increases by 7% and health by 3% over the same period”.
“John Key seems to believe he can keep his head in the sand about the huge increase in super costs and hope a future government will deal with it. But these latest forecasts emphasise that this is an issue for right now, which is having serious fiscal consequences for the budget and other essential services.
“In 2016/17 the cost of superannuation will be more than the entire education budget. It is simply wrong to spend more on superannuation than education. National is pitting the interests of our older citizens against our young.
“Labour’s policy to increase the retirement age to 67 (with a phase-in period and transitional support for those who cannot work past 65 in their normal job) is a prudent and fair way to address the issue. Polls show that most New Zealanders support raising the age. It’s time for John Key to listen.
“Bill English is as blind to this issue as John Key. He has said that ‘growth-orientated policies are going to give us the capacity to meet that demand’. But the increase in super costs is over 10 times the forecast growth rate. The latest downward revisions of our growth rate show growth peaking at less than 3% and declining towards 2%, and even then much of it comes from the post-earthquake rebuild in Christchurch.
“Labour is fiscally responsible. We have foreseen this important issue and have taken proactive steps to ensure superannuation is sustainable and remains in place.
“Our policy not only secures superannuation, but education for younger new Zealanders, and health services for all.
“It’s time New Zealand had a truly fiscally responsible government.”
19 December 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT