By Lloyd Burr
Labour leader Phil Goff says his party's policy to raise the retirement age shows the party has “more balls” than the John Key-led opposition.
Labour, if it became Government, would introduce plans to incrementally raise the age of entitlement for national superannuation from 65 to 67 over a 12-year period starting in 2020.
It would also make KiwiSaver compulsory for all Zealanders on a wage or salary and would reinstate Government contributions to the Cullen Fund.
But the policy was rejected by the current Prime Minister, who says it will “make people work longer” to pay for Labour’s “extravagance”.
Mr Goff hit back at Mr Key on Radio New Zealand's Morning Report today saying Labour’s policy shows that they have “got the balls [and] John Key doesn’t”.
“If we don’t lift our savings rate, that lowers our GDP, that lowers the rate of business and job growth and that lowers the revenue the Government gets – every economist has reported on that.
“It’s time to make a decision that will build a stronger future for New Zealand, we’ve got the balls to do that – John Key doesn’t,” Mr Goff says.
The new policy changes Labour’s previous stance on the retirement age, which they previously said would stay at 65.
In 2008, Labour’s finance spokesperson David Cunliffe said the party was “committed to retaining the age of eligibility at 65”.
Mr Goff says the policy “evolved as circumstances changed” and the double credit downgrade and the uncertain global financial situation were big drivers in the change.
“I don’t think New Zealand can withstand future internal or external shocks unless we make significant changes,” he says.
Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan has repeatedly urged the current Government to consider gradually raising the age to 67 but Mr Key says the current setup is affordable.
During National’s 2008 election campaign, Mr Key said he would resign from Parliament if the current entitlement age changed under his watch.
source: newshub archive