INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cullen Flying Solo On Superannuation

Published: Thu 20 Jul 2000 02:54 PM
The Finance Minister seems to be on a one-man political mission over his superannuation proposal, National's Finance Spokesperson Bill English said today.
"Michael Cullen is claiming the high moral ground over his proposal, saying others must not turn it into a political football. But his own political allies don't seem to be playing on the same team when it comes to the mechanics or even the fundamental principles of his scheme.
"The Alliance and the Greens vetoed Dr Cullen's preferred option. New Zealand First are refusing to bail it out. And even Helen Clark has been conspicuous by her silence over whether she thinks the scheme is a goer.
"He seems to have opted for a partisan approach, pushing his own personal wheelbarrow on a major issue, and he's reaping the rewards of that.
"Opposition leader Jenny Shipley approached the Government early this year with an offer to put National's existing policies aside and sit down with the Government to hammer out a workable and effective solution to the superannuation issue. But the Government hasn't even been courteous enough to respond to that offer, let alone take it up.
"If Dr Cullen is serious about finding a durable solution to the question of superannuation he must involve other parties, not simply slate them for not instantly agreeing to his poorly sketched proposal.
"Without proper consultation there's no way other parties can be expected to join him on his one-man mission. Which makes you wonder whether he isn't deliberately setting up a well meaning but ineptly designed proposal simply so he can play the martyr when it gets knocked back," Bill English said.
Ends

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