INDEPENDENT NEWS

Making A Commitment To Our Elders

Published: Tue 10 Oct 2000 03:00 PM
"The New Zealand Superannuation Fund the Coalition Government is putting before the public today fulfils a key election commitment for the Alliance," Deputy Prime Minister and Alliance Leader Jim Anderton said today.
"The Alliance stands for a publicly funded universal superannuation scheme which enables retired people to participate in, and belong to, their communities. This means that New Zealand Superannuation should be paid from the total revenue base available to the Government at a rate of at least 65% of the average weekly after tax ordinary time earnings. The policy announced today secures this," Jim Anderton said.
"The Alliance has worked co-operatively with the Labour Party to reach an agreement which will secure NZ Superannuation for future generations as a pay-as-you-go universal pension."
"We went into the last election with an unequivocal position on superannuation.
We wanted to boost the cash value of superannuation and immediately on coming into office the Government boosted payments by over $20 a week for a married couple," Mr Anderton said.
"Since then, Michael Cullen and I have been working on a scheme to ensure that New Zealanders can be confident in the future security of NZ Super. We will achieve this by smoothing out the rise in the costs of pensions that will occur in the next 50 years. The scheme placed before the public today ensures the future of NZ Superannuation is assured."
Mr Anderton said that one of the Alliance's concerns was that the annual contributions to the Superannuation Fund could mean that other important capital projects such as necessary improvements of essential social and economic infrastructure – eg. new roads, new public transport systems or new state housing - would have to be set aside.
"The decision that the Government's annual contributions to the Superannuation Fund will be determined in the context of an annual capital budget has alleviated this concern. There will be an orderly process for sorting out priorities for all key items of capital expenditure, including pre-funding. This is a far more co-ordinated approach to Government capital expenditure, Mr Anderton said.
"Prioritising capital expenditure will ensure that debt levels can continue to fall without compromising the Government's objectives for the funding of superannuation and other capital spending."
"Today's funding mechanism means a clear sense of security for the future of publicly funded superannuation. We are planning strategically. This means that we will not be overburdened when the baby boomers reach pensionable age. The increased cost will be spread over a longer time period," Mr Anderton said.

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