Yet again National has been shown up as completely left behind on the sustainability of our retirement debate, as the Financial Service Council’s call for a universal KiwiSaver scheme shows, says Labour Finance spokesperson David Parker.
“A universal retirement contributions scheme is essential in New Zealand, not only to bolster Kiwis’ savings but also to increase our investment pool to support local businesses.
“It is critical that KiwiSaver is made universal as soon as possible. That is Labour policy, along with steadily increasing the retirement age to 67 to make it more affordable.
“We only need to look at Australia to see the success of their scheme. Kiwis retire on around $18,000 a year through super while Australia’s compulsory scheme means their workers have more than $60,000 a year to retire on.
“The Australian fund has over $1.6 trillion invested and has helped them through the GFC. That sort of investment is essential to bolster local businesses, increase exports and reduce New Zealand’s $10 billion current account deficit.
“Labour will address the tax bias that favours speculation in rental housing to the detriment first home buyers, KiwiSaver and the economy through our pro growth tax reform. Our tax on rental housing speculation will help direct investment into productive industries and export jobs.
“National is way behind the eight-ball on retirement, not only on KiwiSaver, but also its refusal to address the retirement age. Labour is taking a responsible position. We will increase the age by two months per year from 2020, while protecting the vulnerable from those changes.
“It was National under Muldoon that scrapped Labour’s universal retirement scheme. That was one of the biggest political mistakes in modern New Zealand politics. Under John Key National appears keen to repeat it,” David Parker says.