I will resign before raising Super beyond 65

Written By: - Date published: 3:29 pm, September 5th, 2017 - 33 comments
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John Key and Jacinda Ardern have some things in common it seems. She has a pony tail and he likes pony tails (I was drawing a long bow to say that was something they had in common, I know).

National are being beaten at their own game, or the beat is in the air. So far Labour have not climbed aboard the Law and Order train. I hope they continue to avoid that particular populist schtick.

Most importantly for me, as an opponent of the Key/English government policies and practices, is, are we about to just do a swap but basically have a very similar direction but with a kinder hand?

This from 2014

“Labour finance spokesman David Parker said National refusal to budge was risking a sudden increase in the age in the future.

“National’s pretence that the age for eligibility does not need to increase looks increasingly dishonest,” he said.

“The truth that National knows but won’t admit is that without a comprehensive long term plan in place there will be a fiscal blow-out, and a sudden rise in the age would be inevitable in the future.”

I get that was then and this is now.

Parker is still there and a number who must have supported this stance.

It feels like cynical politics to me. Same with the “nuclear free moment of my generation” over climate change. On Labour’s side is that until they Govern they cannot be held to anything. I hope Labour is part of the next Government and I hope that will herald a sea change, not a ripple on the shoreline.

33 comments on “I will resign before raising Super beyond 65”

  1. Zeroque 1

    I guess her statement still leaves the door open to means testing it perhaps?

    • tracey 1.1

      Maybe. But it is a step away from the Labour party stance in recent times and toward John Key’s, which is interesting to me. A lot of what is happening reminds me of Key but only insofar as image is triumphing. The big distinction, for me is that Ardern’s image is actually who she is, Key’s had to be, at least in part, manufactured and money spent directly and indirectly to perpetuate it. Ardern seems real to me but I have no more idea of where she lies on the political spectrum than I did before she was leader. If she leads the next government i will know soon enough I guess.

      • garibaldi 1.1.1

        Yes tracey, image is triumphing. I find this fawning all over Jacinda as hollow as fawning all over Key. Shallow and undeserved because Labour is still hostage to their caucus.

      • Carolyn_nth 1.1.2

        Ardern seems real to me but I have no more idea of where she lies on the political spectrum than I did before she was leader.

        I agree with that. People say she speaks “passionately”. To me it’s not so much passion as energetic, sharp, outgoing and quite expressive. I have yet to get the sense she actually is passionate about ending poverty.

        She clearly is smart and has a very good grasp of Labour’s policies.

        • mikesh 1.1.2.1

          She is articulate, but seems to lack charisma, if by ´charisma´ we mean the ability to convince the electorate that her truth is the real thing, particularly if her truth is at odds with the conventional wisdom. Jeremy Corbyn, I think had it, but she seems wedded to Labour´s conventional wisdom.

    • She could also potentially use CGT revenue to kickstart the super fund. It’s essentially the same thing, but without the extra administrative costs.

    • Dv 1.3

      In effect, if the tax rate is charged for the higher brackets, that is a de facto means test.

      • Barfly 1.3.1

        I think there’s $400 million spare is some dubious irrigation fund which is unallocated – sounds like a great place to find some dosh for worthy projects

  2. Carolyn_nth 2

    In recent weeks I have become convinced that leaving the retirement age at 65 yrs is the right thing to do. And not just for those in manual jobs. I know a few middle class people in early to mid 60s who are starting to have health problems: cardiac and in need of stents; spinal, in need of major surgery; cancer, etc.

    While more people are living longer, and many do continue to have good health, many are starting to slow down and have health problems in early 60s – certainly by late 60s.

    • D'Esterre 2.1

      Carolyn_nth: “While more people are living longer, and many do continue to have good health, many are starting to slow down and have health problems in early 60s – certainly by late 60s.”

      That’s exactly right. Many people shouting for the age of super eligibility to be raised are in their 50s or younger. My impression is that they fondly imagine that when they hit 80, they’ll be like they are now, but with grey hair and more wrinkles. Boy, have I got news for them!

      Some will reach that age still relatively healthy, but they won’t have the energy or stamina – or strength – that they have now, no matter how often they get on their bikes, or go swimming or running.

      For the rest of us, health problems begin to plague us from the early 60s, and unless we’re lucky, they’ll rocket away as we get older.

      In my view, the well-meaning middle-aged in the business of making policy affecting older people need to get realistic about walking, biking and using public transport. The often rapid onset of arthritis and the effects of osteoporosis, along with other health conditions such as heart problems, can put these activities out of reach. We live very close to public transport, but reaching it involves a walk, which is becoming increasingly problematic for one of us. Then there’s the walk at the other end: also increasingly a mission.

      We need to keep a car and have somewhere to park it when we get to where we need to go. And that situation will prevail until – and if – technological developments bring cheap transport to our door.

      The age of eligibility for national superannuation needs to remain at 65. Moreover, access needs to remain universal. Means-testing was tried in the 90s; it was a disaster and thankfully the incoming Clark administration at the end of 1999 abandoned it.

      There is no earthly reason why younger people today can’t have universal access to a super scheme when they reach 65. It is a question of government priorities; advocate for it with successive governments, and vote so that they are forced to provide the scheme.

      • mikesh 2.1.1

        [Means-testing was tried in the 90s; it was a disaster and thankfully the incoming Clark administration at the end of 1999 abandoned it.]

        It wasn´t a disaster, but it was unpopular. And, from memory, I think it was Jim Bolger who abandoned it, though under pressure. He had made an election promise to can it, but appeared to go back on his word after being elected. There was such an uproar over the broken promise that he decided to abandon it after all.

        • D'Esterre 2.1.1.1

          Mikesh: you’re right, it was Bolger – if he was still PM at that stage – who abandoned means-testing.

          This is what I’d conflated with the abandonment of means-testing: “the incoming Labour-Alliance government after the 1999 election reversed the pension-wage ratio decision of the previous government. It announced the restoration of a 65 percent floor for the ratio of the married couple rate…”

          However, that means-testing regime was certainly a disaster for those adversely affected by it. There was a great deal of publicity at the time, about the unfairness for those at the margins – which is always the problem with means-tested schemes. It differentially affected National voters, many of whom weren’t particularly wealthy, after the 1987 crash had munted their portfolios.

          And it came right alongside a very speedy raising of the age of entitlement. That change seriously affected friends and work colleagues. Nobody had had time to structure their affairs so as to cope with both changes together. They were brutal times for the recently-retired.

          Surefire way to lose an election: piss off your voter catchment unnecessarily!

          • mikesh 2.1.1.1.1

            You may be right. I was not a superannuitant at the time but my parents and in-laws were all up in arms about it, but I´m pretty sure they had no great need of it.

            TOPs propsosal of guaranteeing the first $10,400 but means testing the rest might be a good compromise.

  3. I don’t mind an inconsistency when someone admits their earlier position is wrong. Ardern has done so. If Parker et. all join her, then they’re off the hook in my view.

    Now, if they change their minds back later, that’s when they’re in trouble and can be accused of flip-flopping.

    • tracey 3.1

      We wont know unless they form a government

      • I’d say we’re at 70-80% probability of that at this stage. It’s still open for Labour to lose, but National would need to do very well to win on their own merits.

        And it’s entirely possible for an opposition to reverse itself twice. I’m sure one of the two biggest parties has done it on record at some point, but it’d take some digging to confirm.

    • mikesh 3.2

      I don´t think they can change their minds now. Assuming Jacinda is the ´goose that laid the golden eggs´ they would not want to put her in a position in which she was forced to resign. Perhaps her offer to resign was a cunning move on her part.

      • I’m not talking about Jacinda Ardern changing her mind, I’m talking about the Labour MPs who supported the 2014 tax policy potentially changing their mind if advice doesn’t return a CGT recommendation.

  4. Glenn 4

    At least the Superannuation fund will start to be funded again if Labour get inwhich will help in the future. JK stopped funding it despite the fund going from strength to strength. The lost 9 years would have made a big difference.

  5. One Anonymous Bloke 5

    In the end it comes down to numbers. Revenue, government spending, etc. Allegedly, robots are going to be doing most of this work anyway.

    Unless you think there’s some pressing ethical reason to raise the retirement age, that is.

    • tracey 5.1

      So, John Key was right? Fair enough, I know there were mixed views on the standard at that time.

      I personally feel many still deserve 65 for a few years yet. There needs to be some crossover that ties up with kiwisaver having been in place for a a while longer.
      Of course it depends on revenue etc.

      Do you know if Laboyr is restoring the 1040 a year from govt for kiwisaver?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1

        No, I haven’t looked at their policy. If Dr. Sir Key’s conclusion was correct, I’m putting that down to serendipity.

        The issue may be rendered moot by a UBI, for example.

        I’d prefer to hear Ardern’s reasoning before jumping to any conclusions, that’s f’sure.

      • Stuart Munro 5.1.2

        I think Key’s position was cynical – he knew raising the retirement age was unpopular – and it gave him a free shot at Labour. Now the boot’s on the other foot – where it belongs.

  6. Barfly 6

    Well I ‘m a fan of retaining 65

    My father died at 58
    My oldest brother died at 58
    My older brother got a whole 8 months super before cancer killed him

    I have a few years to go before I am 65 and I have health problems out the wazoo

    I hope I manage to enjoy super for at least a few years before I shuffle off this mortal coil

    • ianmac 6.1

      There are a lot of jobs which leave workers exhausted before 65. Some teaching, doctoring , writing and others as well as manual jobs.

  7. Barfly 7

    One thing I’d to mention to mention is that the suicide rate for 65-69 is about half that of 55-59 ..I believe the financial certainty of super is a large factor in the reduction.

  8. Keepcalmcarryon 8

    I flinched when gower forced her into that corner.
    Neither did gower point out the hypocrisy of bill English poo pooing the pledge but backing key for the same thing.
    Shittest bit of the debate.

  9. Antoine 9

    I suspect this, like the Labour immigration policy, is pre-positioning for an alliance with NZ First.

    There would have been little point in announcing an increase in super age to 67 now, only to have to backtrack later at Winston’s insistence.

    A.

    • Antoine 9.1

      On reflection, these policies should also help to win over NZ 1st voters, perhaps making the alliance with NZ 1st unnecessary

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