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Notional Policy: Kiwisaver

Written By: - Date published: 7:24 am, May 30th, 2008 - 24 comments
Categories: kremlinology, national, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

Tracy Watkins reported yesterday that National’s weakening of the employer contribution to Kiwisaver may take a different path to the one we envisaged. Rather than limiting employer contributions to a lower level Watkins reports businesses want to be able to dock or cut wages to compensate for the Kiwisaver contributions they make. This is currently illegal.

Now, an employer is already compensated by a tax credit on the first $20 a week they contribute to a worker’s Kiwisaver and tax deductibility on contributions in excess of that. So, hopefully, National wouldn’t allow wages to be lowered by the whole amount of contributions, only the part not covered by the Government.

So, time for some Notional Party Policy:

– Employers will be allowed to dock wages by the amount they pay into their employee’s Kiwisaver, less Government compensation.

What’s the effect of this? The worker loses out because their wages are lower.

Someone on the average wage would lose $48,000 over a working life, and the benefit would go entirely to businesses, who will no longer have to contribute anything all their ‘contributions’ being covered by the Government or the worker.

Stories like this stress how important it is for National to come clean on its plans for Kiwisaver. There are hundreds of thousands of Kiwis trying to save for their retirements here, and they deserve some security.

24 comments on “Notional Policy: Kiwisaver ”

  1. Daveo 1

    So we know for sure that National’s business backers “would love to see wages drop”. Who was it John Key was talking to when he said exactly that? Oh yeah, one of those business backers…

  2. AncientGeek 2

    Thats a policy? Effectively the Nats are saying that the government and employees are fully responsible for all super. It removes all responsibility from employers. Look overseas for comparable schemes, and you’ll find that they are all a 3 way partnership. It doesn’t make sense to do it the way that the Nat’s are proposing.

    Sounds like blatant headline hunting to me.

    I listened to Tony Ryall doing the same thing this morning on Cunliffe speeding up a program for screening for colon cancer. Tony Ryall was claiming it was electioneering – which sounds like crap to me 😉

    It is one of the major killers. But the screening tests have been a problematic with about a 50% accuracy rate. Too many false negatives and false positives.

    Cunliffe made it clear that he’d gotten information about better results from screening. So he’d speed up the program from trying to get it in place at 2012 rather than 2014. This is done within the ministers discretionary budget and that is what I’d expect him to do. What does Ryall expect? That this should wait for a budget next year?

    We have an election every 3 years. Should the work of government stop for 1 year in 3?

    Tony Ryall is a dickhead hunting a headline. Just because there is an election this year doesn’t mean that the process of government should be suspended.

    I couldn’t find a link to the interview on the national program – but it is worth a listen. A total contrast in style between a headline hunter and a working minister.

  3. andy 3

    And in other Natinal non policy news, it seem that Tony Ryall(?) is on the policy making team, as Nationals spokesperson on health.

    This morning on Nat radio he carried on the NZ sucks campaign, criticising the new Bowel cancer screening program. A program based on an Australian screening program (remember we need to be more like them except in health apparently).

    Ryall claimed it was to get votes, jury is out on that, I agree the timing is suspect but a good initiative it is.. He offered no alternative, just the NZ sucks line. How frustrating, when No Nukes is in the bag, no asset sales but health seems to be an area that national have a secret plan for us.

    So Mr Ryall is OK with 1500 NZers getting Bowel cancer a year as long as labour gets no votes!!!

  4. andy 4

    AncientGreek,

    You bet me to it, it was disgusting.

    Also what about a follow up from the interviewer, not once did He ask “Mr Ryall what is nationals screening plan?”

    But today we know that only some spokes people are actually allowed to speak on behalf of the party. Same tired faces….

    Captcha: Idealistic co – sounds like national on health

  5. SP: I see notional.org.nz is already taken ? Pity, it would have made a great vehicle for all this Fear Uncertainty and Doubt. Looking forward to seeing if it actually makes a difference to Labour Party polling.

    Just had a thought : does the Labour Party now have to include the website actually at http://www.notional.org.nz in their advertising spend? Does notional.org.nz have to register as a third party ? Does notional.org.nz need authorisation by the Labour Party’s financial agent ?

    [lprent: “Notional Party” – looks like a satire site. Are they standing candidates?
    Follow the process. You can always complain to the electoral commission. However on a short scan it doesn’t look to me like he mentions any political party known to the commission and the last activity looks like it was in 2007. I think that you’re just taking EFA bashing to a new low.]

  6. Tane 6

    Bryan, what on earth are you on about?

  7. andy 7

    Bryan

    No difference in Herald-Digi poll today.

    I think the Nats are spreading the fear and uncertainty, I know where labour stands like it or not but National have a plan, they just won’t tell us yet…

  8. Tane: “So, time for some Notional Party Policy:”

  9. Tane 9

    Bryan, I still don’t know what you’re on about.

  10. Retared Bryan – I suggest you spend less time worrying about other people’s websites and more time worrying about fixing the abomination that is interest.co.nz I mean you are supposed to be in charge of it aren’t you?

  11. vto 11

    I suspect there will be a long period before businesses accept this imposition. And that is because people go into business to provide themselves with an income, not (if they need to employ someone) to become responsible for their employees old age. The business owner has their own family’s old age to worry about, plus everything else imposed on them. It is simply another burden which most people in business do not consider their responsibility anymore than it is some other random person’s responsibility.

    This is a fundamental flaw which will ensure disgruntlement from business people for a long time.

  12. andy 12

    vto

    agreed, I am in favor of a tax credit for Businesses to offset and encourage kiwisaver. I think it is in the National interest to make kiwisaver work. we only need to look across the tasman to see the benefits.

    I am starting to get the impression the Nats want us to be at the bottom of the OECD, as there actions speak louder than words..

    No to bowel cancer screening
    lower wages
    higher doctors fees
    Govt borrowing for tax cuts

    all a recipe for lower productivity and poorer population.

  13. Bryan. I had no idea there was a Notional party website and know nothing about it. But it looks like some dude’s half-hearted attempt at satire that never took off.

    By the way – do youse like the ‘Notional graphic’? torn between this and Kremlinology.

  14. The present Kiwisaver scheme allows employers to avoid paying the Kiwisaver employer contribution if they require you to accept a “negotiated” employment contract agreeing to lower your salary by the amount required and they pay that amount to the scheme as “their” contribution. Yes, you also pay less tax on the money you now haven’t earned, so it isn’t a one-for one loss. I think I read it right. Maybe not.

    Bottom line is it looks like you can find yourself signing a contract including a wage cut to cover the employer contribution. All perfectly legal and do-able right now.

    Anyone want to bet this will become a standard part of every employment contract “negotiated” from now on?

    The Herald had an article about it last week.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/11/story.cfm?c_id=11&objectid=10512387

  15. Steve P: How about:

    “Lotional”

    Lubricating the path to government by self-appointed elitists with deep pockets.

    The imagery alone is compelling.

  16. Tamaki Resident 16

    I like the logo, but if the past is anything to go by you’ll be getting a cease and desist letter shortly!

  17. T-rex 17

    Really Tamaki?

    Is that actually illegal here? I’m pretty sure that in the U.S. copyright and trademark infraction is allowed for satire.

  18. I’m pretty sure this is fair use for satire. Speaking of which, thanks to the reader who sent me a better verion of my crappy attempt, drawn on paint.

  19. Tamaki Resident 19

    T-rex – I obviously failed in my attempt at humour. I was making a reference to the time that a blog (not sure if it was the Standard or kiwiblogblog) got a letter from National telling them not to use an image of John Key.

  20. That was the online petition after Key said “the war in Iraq is over”.

    That and “we would to see wages drop” turned me from thinking ‘I would rather have a centre-left government than the tories’ to thinking ‘Key would be a disaster as PM’

  21. T-rex 21

    Tamaki – Sorry, nothing wrong with your sense of humour, I was just genuinely curious about the actual law.

  22. SP: my vote is for the Notional Party as a satire vehicle. The question mark logo is rather clever.

  23. Tamaki Resident 23

    I see that the updated logo has 2 spin cycles!! Well done.

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