Labour’s savings policy is taking care of future generations by making KiwiSaver universal and compulsory for all wage and salary earners, by re-starting contributions to the New Zealand Super Fund, and by gradually increasing the age of eligibility for New Zealand Super from 65 to 67 over a 22 year period.
Labour is taking the decisions that are right for tomorrow, rather than the easy option today. Once again Labour has to take the hard decisions to look after future generations. National’s “tax and spend” gibe is looking very hollow, as capital gains tax broadens the base and the savings policy guarantees the futre.
And the sky is not going to fall in tomorrow. No change for the next nine years and transitional assistance for those who need it. I was 51 when the National government raised the age from 60 to 65 over a nine year period. I started saving and also stayed working till I was 69. The world will change but we need to fund the future.
Most other countries with the pension age set at 65 are gradually raising it: Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and most EU countries are in the process of doing. Berlusconi’s government has just been forced into doing it and will have a much sharper adjustment. Not only that, Labour’s policy is part of a package – an increase in the minimum wage to $15 and industry standards for wage bargaining which will protect wages.
Key’s “Not while I’m Prime Minister” puts him into the Muldoon camp of National Party leaders. Another trimmer with no vision. Labour and Goff are looking far-sighted, as well as doing the right thing.