Is Don Brash trying to help or hinder John Key? A revealing couple of articles (a news story and a feature) in the Sunday Star Times in which the former leader – full of self pity and self loathing in equal measures by the sound of it – says his two biggest regrets were supporting the war in Iraq and not pursuing a harder right-wing agenda when he was riding high in the polls after the Orewa speech:
First up, he thinks he should have announced new policy on the most politically dangerous of all policy areas superannuation. His plan was two-pronged a gradual lift in the age of entitlement from 65 from 2020, and cancelling superannuation for those over 65 who worked. The sweetener would be that when an over-65 finished working, their super would be actuarily adjusted to be paid at a higher rate, compensating for the years of lost payments. Brash says change is still needed to control the ballooning superannuation bill for baby-boomers. “I have long felt that as we live progressively longer, some government is going to have to do something about superannuation,” says Brash.”
Don Brash allowed himself to be steered into safer middle ground; a position that John Key occupies way more comfortably. But I’m not sure Key will have been entirely thrilled to see National’s true agenda for New Zealand’s old people laid out quite so bare.