INDEPENDENT NEWS

ACT: Let’s Debate The Scheme At Select Committee

Published: Tue 28 Nov 2000 05:01 PM
The ACT party will support the coalition in introducing the New Zealand Superannuation Bill to a select committee, said ACT leader Hon Richard Prebble.
“Surveys show that over two-thirds of all voters want a savings-based super scheme and more co-operation between political parties. Therefore ACT will support the Cullen scheme to Select Committee.
“However ACT does have some concerns about the bill. ACT is concerned that the latest figures indicate the bill will only meet, at its peak, just 14 per cent of the costs of superannuation. The bill in its current format is not a solution to the problem of affordability of superannuation.
“ACT is uneasy about the effect on the economy of a fund large enough to buy every share in all of New Zealand’s public companies, and the fact that a twenty-year old will pay into the fund all their working life only to find it almost exhausted when they retire!
”ACT is also critical of the way the scheme is being presented, as if it were something for nothing. The claim that it will all come from surpluses, that it’s therefore a `free lunch’. It is not. There are only two ways to fund Cullen’s scheme – increase taxes or cut government spending. The money will come from taxes that could otherwise be spent on schools, hospitals, or as ACT would prefer, as it’s the taxpayers’ money, by the people themselves.
“ACT would like Michael Cullen to explain what areas of social spending are to be cut to meet the annual fund contribution.
“ACT favours a savings based superannuation scheme in individualised accounts of the savers choice. This will minimise political interference and guarantee a decent return to all New Zealanders.
“We don’t favour the gimmicks in the bill such as a schedule for parties to sign. This is Dr Cullen building a stage from which he can later bemoan the opposition.
“ACT has always advocated a bi-partisan solution to the superannuation issue and will accordingly work with MPs from other parties to see if we can make this bill a workable and sustainable solution,” said Hon Richard Prebble.
ENDS

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