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Don’t blame MMP for Nat stupidity

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 am, December 18th, 2012 - 18 comments
Categories: john key, national, superannuation - Tags: , , ,

Two pieces in The Herald last weekend repeated the well known warnings – that the government is failing to face up to the responsibilities of an aging population. As ever Bernard Hickey pulled no punches:

Relax and be overburdened

This week’s conference on the sustainability of our Government’s finances reinforced the immense power of ageing.

Treasury forecast the ageing of our population would increase health and superannuation spending to 19.1 per cent of GDP by 2060, from 11.3 per cent in 2010. More importantly, the population paying for this will be smaller than today’s. Treasury estimated the number of people aged 15-65 supporting each person over 65 will fall from just over five in 2010 to just over two by 2060.

Without changes in taxation policies, retirement age and universal access to pensions and health, the Government’s debt is forecast to explode towards 200 per cent of GDP by 2060 and interest costs to 11.4 per cent of GDP by 2060 from around 1.2 per cent in 2010.

Essentially, the generations running governments of today have decided to consume the future now and pass crushing debts to the next generation. …

In the second piece John Armstrong identifies the same problems:

Let’s not grow old waiting for action

… The conference delivered two messages: first, that early implementation of the trade-offs required to meet additional pension and health costs is preferable to last-minute panic measures which might be more severe in their impact on the working population.

Second, that the power that can be exercised by age cohorts under MMP makes it paramount that the search for consensus begins even earlier.

With its timely early flagging of its intention to raise the pension age to 67, Labour seems to have worked that out.

The same cannot be said of National. Are you listening, Mr Key?

But, bizarrely, John tries to blame MMP:

Problem of ageing population will put MMP to the test … Will the staunch critics of MMP finally be shown to have been right all along? Does their long-held assertion that the policy compromises flowing from a proportional voting system work against the long-term national interest have some basis after all?

Oh please. MMP was not to blame when Muldoon cancelled Labour’s compulsory super saver scheme. That was just Nat stupidity. And MMP is not to blame for Key’s election bribes (the promise not to change super was made at a time when National entertained hopes of governing alone, and since when did their support parties ever stand for anything?). Once again plain Nat stupidity. We’re consuming our future all right, in more ways than one, but MMP is not to blame.

18 comments on “Don’t blame MMP for Nat stupidity”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    The real problem is the financial system and not the economy. If we lived within the real economy rather than chasing more money we’d easily be able to maintain the present retirement set up. Not that I’m supportive of that as I prefer a Universal Income.

    • Lefty 1.1

       
      You are so right Draco.

      The debate on superannuation between National, Labour, various economists and commentators is infantile.

      They entirely miss the point of why we have super, fail to examine the linkages between work and wealth distribution, refuse to look at the amount of socially necessary work to be done now and into the future, and assume the financial system we have at present is the only one possible.

      There is, and will continue to be, plenty to go around if distributed fairly.

      A Universal Basic Income system would be a great first step towards achieving a fair and sustainable sharing of the value created through the collective labour of us all throughout our lifetimes.

      As for basing anything on Treasury projections to 2060: the useless bastards can’t even get it right a few months ahead.

  2. Dv 2

    So how does MMP stop Nats joining with Lab to sort out super?

  3. Enough is Enough 3

    The answer is not increasing the elegibility age either. It is having an appropriate tax system.

    Universal Super to those aged 65 and above is affordable now and will be for the next 50 years. But only if we begin taxing those who can afford it approriatley.

    A 65 year old labourer who has sweated for 45 years shouldn’t have to work for an extra two years just so the rich can pay minimal tax.

    When will the Labour party stand up for the workers of this country?

    • r0b 3.1

      A 65 year old labourer who has sweated for 45 years shouldn’t have to work for an extra two years just so the rich can pay minimal tax.
       
      Which is why Labour’s policy included exemptions for manual workers.
       
      When will the Labour party stand up for the workers of this country?
       
      They do – it helps if you know their policies.
       

      • Napkins 3.1.1

        In an age of massive financial assets, investment capital and liquidity, why are we forcing some older workers to work years longer than they really want to.
        While at the same time there are tens of thousands of young workers desperate for those same positions and who cannot get steady full time employment?
        It’s pretty easy to see that something is very wrong.

      • Lefty 3.1.2

         
        I recently saw David Shearer at a meeting of low paid workers. He said he was all about fairness and so he was going to raise the retirement age.
        When somebody from the floor pointed out that many workers, especially Maori were dead by the time they are 65 he said they would make some exceptions and pay a lesser amount earlier.
        Presumably this means if you jump through the right hoops and can prove you are worthy you will get a bit of a pension before you die. We all know how good and fair the state is at giving these sorts of entitlements.
        Entitlements that are not universal quickly become shambolic and unfair in their administration.
        Like many of the middle class Shearer seemed incapable of understanding what a lifetime of drudery is like.
        Many of the people he was talking to are on the minimun wage. They put in long, hard hours at soul destroying jobs being abused and harrased by bastard employers. There is no pleasure and very little income in what they do.
        Some of us started physical work at fifteen. We have put in ten years hard labour and paid a shit load of tax before middle class kids had finished uni. Our bodies were already starting to show the first damage about that time.
        If we are lucky we manage to find something less strenuous, but not necessarily less soul destroying in our middle years.
        By the time we are 60 many of us are already totolly buggered, painfully forcing ourselves to go to work each day and just hanging on grimly until we hit 65.
        We don’t have a genteel and satisfying job to look forward to after we turn 65 years old.
        We don’t have a fat Kiwisaver pension, sucked out of the exploitation of people like us through your investments in companies that exploit our labour and we don’t even necessarily want that. Being
        Raising super is all about the same spoilt middle class kids screwing us again and pricks like Shearer, who has spent most of his life prancing around paid very well to do interesting and undemanding stuff, that he wants to screw some more hard labour out of us in the name of fairness.
         
         
         

        • outofbed 3.1.2.1

          what lefty said

        • Roy 3.1.2.2

          Which is why I support means-testing super rather than raising the age. I know too many oldies who are getting super when in terms of assets they are already multi-millionaires.

  4. JonL 4

    “When will the Labour party stand up for the workers of this country?”

    Not under the current regime…….sorry – Labour has gone the way of most Labour parties around the western world – old, senile and conservative!
    Without a massive influx of young blood and /or ideas, they’re doomed to remain just another conservative, right leaning party….

  5. bobo 5

    +1 Draco
    A fair few on this site have been cheer-leading raising the age of super as some fix it.. The Greens & Labour seem to have adopted Don Brash’s 1990s neo-lib ideology on this, which is sad all round from a left perspective. This policy hurt Labour at the last election whether they will admit it or not, it went against their original core values.. Back to work till you drop.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5.1

      That’s right, what the present situtation demands is a policy whereby everyone, regardless of need, gets free money from everyone else.

      • bobo 5.1.1

        You seem to have got bankers and actual people confused regarding “free money”

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2

        Well Gormless, you just proved that you have NFI how the economy works. But you’re in good company – niether do the economists.

  6. KJT 6

    Here we go again.

    Endlessly repeating the right wing meme of “we cannot afford it” and TINA endlessly about super affordability does not make it true.

    http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2012/06/on-new-zealands-retirement-income.html

    “Since the 70’s they have been constant in the meme that we cannot afford super. A meme that has been driven entirely by the self interest of those, who are too wealthy to need super and too mean to pay taxes, and a greedy finance industry.

    Unfortunately, it is true, that if you repeat bullshit often enough, even those who should know better come to believe it.

    We cannot afford super is code for, “we should leave our elderly to beg on the streets”. So that wealthy people can pay less tax and the finance industry can again lose our savings for us.

    In fact the idea that State super is unaffordable is crap from the same people that cry TINA and reckon that all social insurance is unaffordable.

    If they win with super, they will just start on other social wages.

    In reality it is much more affordable than the finance company bailouts, which would be necessary with private super.
    .
    http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2012/06/what-superannuation-crisis.html
    “So, in 2050, we’re projected to be paying only 1% of GDP more in superannuation than we were paying in 1990. Quelle horreur! This is not a difference to be terrified of, and it is easily manageable with a modest increase in taxation, either now or in the future (though that perhaps is exactly what those pushing for change are frightened of: higher taxes)”. “”

  7. Mike 7

    In fairness to Armstrong, I think he was raising a question rather than blaming MMP?

    Just as a matter of interest. If we average the same rate of inflation over the next 50 years that we have had over the last 50 years and super is raised in line with official (not the same as real) inflation rate, then by 2060 the lowest pension (single, living alone) will be over $200,000 per annum. Yahoo!!! (Only yahooed until I remembered that if we used the same rate calculation, a bottle of milk will cost 300 bucks and an average 3 bedroom house in Auckland will cost close to 20 million dollars!!)

    Oh the joys of continuous growth and the exponential function. Don’t get me started on compound interest, but if you were around when Jesus supposedly was and borrowed 5 pennies at 5% interest, never intending to pay the loan back, then the amount owed today would be equivalent to something like 34 billion globes of solid gold, each globe being the size of planet earth.

    hehehe, I should really find something productive to do.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      In other words mike in any system which features exponential growth, repeated cycles of boom and bust are an inherent feature.
       
      Capitalism is an inherently unstable system, only this time the boom cycle has been so monstrous that the resulting bust threatens to take down most life on this planet.

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    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
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    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    2 days ago
  • New research confirms water fluoridation does not cause bone cancers
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    2 days ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
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  • Selfie-takers think they’re the greatest
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  • UCOL cutting the staff who lifted student results
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    2 days ago
  • Another Road Only Harbour Crossing on the Cards?
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    2 days ago
  • Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham
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  • Gordon Campbell on bank scandals and air crashes
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    2 days ago

  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    16 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    17 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
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    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    17 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
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    GreensBy Denise Roche
    21 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
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    GreensBy Jan Logie
    22 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
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    GreensBy Jan Logie
    22 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
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    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    23 hours ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
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    23 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
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    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    23 hours ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
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    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
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  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
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    3 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
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    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
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    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
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    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
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    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
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    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
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    5 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    5 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    5 days ago
  • The Price of Water
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    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
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    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    6 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
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    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    7 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    7 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    7 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
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    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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