John Key’s government celebrated KiwiSaver’s 4th birthday on July 1 with cuts to your entitlements.
Your $20/week government top-up of your savings will halve, and you’ll start paying tax on your employer’s contribution.
This was the budget that was originally touted as the ‘savings’ budget, before the government tried to brand it an ‘austerity’ budget, and then the media dubbed it the ‘double down’ budget (all image and marketing, but no real substance to the claims…).
So this ‘savings’ budget’s central plank was to tinker yet again with KiwiSaver – for the third time in 3 years – and further undermine confidence in our country’s premiere saving scheme. Having reduced the employer contribution from 4% to 2% in their first budget, they’ve partially reversed it (to 3%) in an admission they didn’t think things through initially. People are confused and angry as they now have money locked away until retirement, but they’re not confident the government won’t keep fiddling them out of it.
Further to the shame of the ‘savings’ budget was the over-focus on government debt (small, one of the lowest in the OECD, minimal problem) at the expense of private debt (just about largest per capita in OECD, massive problem), meaning that private debt is now expected to start increasing faster in a few years’ time. Whilst the government books will balance again a little faster, as a nation we can now expect to be poorer! Those savings we need to invest in our future businesses (and flogged off SOEs!) will not be there.
So Labour are celebrating KiwiSaver’s fourth birthday with a petition, protesting the government’s breaking of another 2008 promise – when they explicitly told us they would not cut government contributions.
(E-)Sign it, and register your anger at National’s KiwiSaver cuts.