One pot of gold gone, Labour will create a new one

The Financial Service Council’s savings report shows while we have lost one pot of gold, Labour’s savings policy will help create a new one, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.

The Infometrics analysis on Labour’s 1974 New Zealand Superannuation Fund shows it would be worth $278 billion had it not been axed by National.

“Higher savings mean better paid jobs. Those missing billions would have meant higher wages for Kiwis and less reliance on foreign debt and foreign ownership as a country.

“It is clear evidence that New Zealand needs KiwiSaver to be made universal, which the next Labour Government will bring in.
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Tax and spend Nats push up interest rates

National has changed its colours and become the real tax and spend party but is trying to hide the truth through suspect accounting, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.

“John Key clearly enjoys testing the New Zealand public’s gullibility. Yesterday he claimed that new spending under National has risen by only $250 million each year under his Government.

“How does that explain the extra $3 billion he is spending a year on superannuation compared with five years ago as just one example?

“National is now spending 20 per cent more than the last Labour Government. Yet John Key has the gall to claim that a new Labour Government would lead to rising interest rates. The truth is Labour will run fiscal surpluses that will not put pressure on interest rates.
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Super Fund contributions must restart on surplus

National must restart contributions to the Super Fund when it gets the books back into surplus as the government books would be $2.2 billion better off if contributions had not been stopped, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.

“New figures show that the Super Fund – one of the great successes of the last Labour Government – continues to go from strength to strength.

“But it could have been much better. The Guardians of the New Zealand Super Fund say that as of 30 June 2013 the NZ Super Fund was $10.8 billion smaller than it would have been if contributions had continued, with $2.2 billion of foregone investment gains.

“The fund returned $4.51 billion in the past twelve months at a rate of over 21 per cent. That is half a billion more than the National Government raised from its failed asset sales programme.
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Without long term plan sudden increase in super age inevitable

Without a long-term plan to gradually raise the retirement age to 67 National is risking a sudden increase in the eligibility age in the future, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.

“Australia is now openly considering raising the super age to 70, following in the footsteps of the UK. New Zealanders don’t want us to follow in those countries’ footsteps and nor does Labour.

“National’s pretence that the age for eligibility does not need to increase looks increasingly dishonest.

“Overseas announcements show how irresponsible the Government is being.

“Labour’s plan is to start gradually raising the super age to 67, by increasing the age by two months per year from 2020. That’s a fair and reasonable way to ensure we can pay for our retirement. We will also have an exception for those who can’t work past 65 in their normal job.

“The truth that National knows but won’t admit is that without a comprehensive long term plan in place there will be a fiscal blowout and a sudden rise in the age would be inevitable in the future.

“Since 2008 super costs have ballooned from $7.3 billion to $10.2 billion. This is already more than is spent on all benefits combined plus the accommodation supplement and working for families.
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Retirees increase by 24 per cent, super fix needed

The number of Kiwis above the retirement age has increased by 24 per cent since the last census, showing action is needed to keep universal superannuation sustainable, says Labour Finance spokesperson David Parker.

“It is clear from the census figures released today that our population is ageing dramatically.

“Not only has the number of people in retirement age increased by almost a quarter, the median age of Kiwis is now 38 – two years older than it was seven years ago.

“This will have a huge impact on superannuation with costs already ballooning from $7.3 billion dollars to $10.2 billion dollars since 2008. We need to put a plan in place now to deal with this ballooning cost.
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Universal KiwiSaver needed for retirement

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.
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Time for National to get head out of the sand

National must get its head out of the sand and make the changes needed to ensure universal superannuation is sustainable, says Labour Finance spokesperson David Parker.

“The Retirement Commissioner’s analysis shows once again how irresponsible National is being on superannuation. She joins the Treasury, the OECD and most economists who say we must address the age of eligibility.
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