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Saving our future

Written By: - Date published: 9:13 pm, October 27th, 2011 - 76 comments
Categories: Economy, superannuation - Tags:

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.

76 comments on “Saving our future”

  1. Jenny 1

    Despite the dawning of the true awfulness of this government for many people, Labour tries desperately to lose this election.

    Sectarian to a fault, Labour has long been desirous of ruling alone, or not at all.

    As several political commentators have written during the past year, “Labour is sleep walking to defeat in 2011″.

    Or as Labour Party supporter and political commentator Chris Trotter much more pointedly put it.
    “Labour would rather keep control of the losing side, than lose control of the winning side”.

    A regressive policy announcement at this crucial period, signals that Labour does not want to be in the position to form a government at this time, and as such, represents a deliberate poke in the eye of their potential coalition support partner, the Greens, who again will be locked out of government policy making for the foreseeable future.

    (I wonder if the Greens were even consulted about this Labour Party bombshell?)

    There can be little doubt that the next National government will be so awful that Labour will be returned in a landslide and therefore will be able to continue their lockout of the Greens.

    As Trotter and others have revealed with their comments, this has been Labour’s strategy for some time.

    When finally, it begins to look like National and it’s right wing flanker parties won’t have the numbers, vs Labour and it’s left flanking parties.

    Labour has to release this clunker of a policy, to sabotage any chance of a left leaning Labour led government.

    • Zetetic 1.1

      I was worried about this until I saw they’re making allowance for people who actually need to retire at 65. For the rest of us, I think we can create more human welfare by investing that money in kids and the environment than giving handouts to healthy and capable 65 and 66 year olds.

      I’m not sure in what world you think political parties inform other parties or the likes of Chris Trotter about their policies before they launch them, but it must be an weird one.

      • Jenny 1.1.1

        Z. It would be common courtesy towards a potential ally.

        However as this policy is actually an open attack on the possibility of a left coalition, it has to be by it’s nature preemptive.

        And further to my original, it is not just an attack on the Greens but a slap in the face of all Labour’s potential coalition partners. As TV3 commented last night, New Zealand First in particular would have difficulty working in coalition with Labour with this policy in place.

        Even the Maori Party wouldn’t be able to stomach this.

    • Carol 1.2

      Or as Labour Party supporter and political commentator Chris Trotter much more pointedly put it.
      “Labour would rather keep control of the losing side, than lose control of the winning side”.

      Hmmm, well now Trotter has just done an about turn, praised Labour’s strategy, and said he is “eating crow”.

      http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2011/10/eating-crow.html

      By holding back their announcements on Superannuation and Kiwisaver until the campaign got underway, they have succeeded in inflicting maximum damage on the Government. Key can offer nothing substantial in return. Like a hapless Marmluk warrior he can brandish his rhetorical scimitar and fire-off the occasional (largely ineffectual) round from his ornate musket – and that’s about it.

  2. Jared 2

    “Labour was not considering raising the retirement age.

    “We think that we can avoid that alternative through the mechanisms that we’ve put in place in the past, that the Government has stopped funding, which is the Cullen Fund, and through a policy that’s not a one-off sale of state assets but one that will raise tax revenue on an ongoing basis.”
    ” NZHerald July 2011

    Flipflop much?

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Jared.

      Grasping a third rail issue for the future of NZ is frakin bravery is what it is.

      • Jenny 2.1.1

        ……frakin bravery is what it is.

        Colonial Viper

        Bereft of ideas on how to deal with the impending economic collapse, outside the tired old neo-liberal ideas, rather than look to their left for ideas on the way forward, Labour is to frightened of heading a left leaning coalition bent on a collision course with the lightly taxed financiers and other powerful deregulated corporates. Rather than being bold and grasping this nettle, Labour chooses to join with National in imposing austerity on the rest of us.

        “frakin bravery”? Hardly.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Jenny.

          If you really believe that there is going to be an “impending economic (and energy) collapse” then whatever super age we set will be irrelevant.

          Fighting for the age to stay 65 will not mean anything because no one is going to have the opportunity to retire.

          • Jenny 2.1.1.1.1

            Fighting for the age to stay 65 will not mean anything because no one is going to have the opportunity to retire.

            Colonial Viper

            I expected weak and illogical excuses for this policy. In an age of mass unemployment, economic and climate collapse, CV you are right, working people will not have the opportunity to retire, they will be just left to starve.

            What has to be done is to tax the privileged to spread the pain more evenly. Despite their “Frakin bravery” Labour is to frightened to take the powerful financiers and economic wreckers on.

            And as such, this policy signals Labour’s direction, in dealing with the coming crisis.

    • queenstfarmer 2.2

      It’s worse than that:

      Just a few days ago Newstalk ZB asked David Cunliffe if the party would raise the retirement age. He put a finger to his head indicating it would be political suicide.

      The fact that Labour’s finance spokesman would give that response only a few days ago suggests this is a pretty naked attempt by Labour to create a fig-leaf for its unfunded spending promises, such as borrowing for tax cuts.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Finger to the head means that the answer was in Cunliffe’s head, silly.

        • Tigger 2.2.1.1

          Misdirection. What else could he do in that spot.

          Also, if we’re talking hand gestures let’s chat throat slitting…or three way handshakes…

  3. Lanthanide 3

    What I want to know is whether Labour will make employer contributions to Kiwisaver taxed like National is planning to.

    I’m also a bit dubious about making Kiwisaver compulsory while also increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour – it’s going to hit a lot of businesses quite hard in the pocketbooks.

    • tsmithfield 3.1

      Lanth, I think you should cash in your ipredict position while you have a chance after hearing this policy from Labour today.

  4. tsmithfield 4

    Michael Littlewood from Auckland Uni’s retirement research centre, talking to Larry Williams, absolutely ridicules just about every aspect of Labour’s plan.

    [audio src="http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/podcasts/audio/27183801.mp3" /]

    Worth listening to. I think National will have fun with this.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      One of Michael Littlewood’s criticisms is that National is likely to have a knee jerk reaction against even having the very important conversation of changing retirement age.

      And that is exactly what the immature Mr Key and National have done.

      BTW Littlewood’s criticism that the Cullen Fund has lost a billion dollars for New Zealanders? Bullshit.

  5. lefty 5

    So Labour wants to make it compulsory for me to give some of my pay to a bunch of financial sector crooks to gamble with or steal. Lets not pretend that won’t happen because it will – the capitalist swine can’t help themselves.
    Putting up the pension age is the opposite of what they should be doing at a time when youth unemployment is soaring and not looking any better. Also many workers can’t afford Kiwisaver and the minimum would have to go a lot higher than $15 an hour before they could. And what about those on benefits or in part time work, which is a substantial chunk of the population. Talk about trying to cement in inequality.
    I don’t know where you get the idea that people want to keep working to 67 – a lot of us, particularly Maori, Pasifika and manual workers won’t even live that long – but thats ok for up themselves liberal social democrats in their cushy jobs who try to convince us they care about the working class.
    What a staggering lack of imagination and demonstration of economic illiteracy.
    Until now I have believed that workers were slightly better off under Labour than National apart from the rogernomics era.
    Now I don’t think so.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      So Labour wants to make it compulsory for me to give some of my pay to a bunch of financial sector crooks to gamble with or steal. Lets not pretend that won’t happen because it will – the capitalist swine can’t help themselves.

      You got a point here.

      Unless every dollar is invested back in NZ enterprise, its likely to be gradually and insidiously thieved transaction by transaction by the likes of Goldman Sachs, Bank of New York Mellon and JP Morgan Chase.

    • ianmac 5.2

      If you were unable to work at say 59 you would not be eligible for Super but still entitled to a benefit of some sort. Just as it is now. I retired at 61 but my wife was still working I needed no benefit but would have had one if I had I needed it.
      So Super at any particular age is not quite black and white. Some of the myths need to be discussed. Even Bill English believes there should be discussion on the future problems.

      • lefty 5.2.1

        The biggest myth is that we can’t afford super at the present age or younger. According to right wing economic models we can’t of course. But according to those models we can’t afford health care, education, decent wages or anything other than a long life of miserable wage slavery unless we are one of the chosen rich.
        Its all about priorities and Labour seems to be putting the interests of the financial sector before all else again.

    • QoT 5.3

      So Labour wants to make it compulsory for me to give some of my pay to a bunch of financial sector crooks to gamble with or steal.

      Abso-fucking-lutely, lefty.

      I get that people need to save. I get that Kiwis are pretty bad at this.

      But some angry little part of me really, really resents fuckin’ baby boomers who got free varsity education, or didn’t need a varsity education to get a good career, who got cheap houses at low interest rates, who could raise a family on a single income and then decided investment property was the way to go after other/overlapping members of their generation fucked everyone’s faith in other investments, and thus in a multitude of ways made it so fucking hard for people my age to save and buy a house and service a mortgage, now want to say “Naughty children, you have to save for your retirement instead of paying down your mortgage / paying off the debt you accrued because your parents raised you in a value-free consumerist society!”

      • Lanthanide 5.3.1

        All of the baby boomers who have bought up property as a form of savings are going to be selling down their assets at the same time. Housing is going to become a buyers market in 10-15 years time.

    • millsy 5.4

      Spot on ‘lefty’.

      New Zealand has the lowest rate of senior poverty in the OECD. In countries such as the USA, you have 80 and 90 year olds having to work at low wage jobs flipping burgers, etc, or begging on the streets. Most of them because the pensions they had spent their working lives putting money into were gambled away by Gordon Gekko types – do we really want to go down that road? And raising the age is the thin edge of the wedge. What next? indexing it to prices? Like benefits? Means testing?, so people end up having to sell just about everything they own so they can get a subsistence payment? And believe me it will be a subsistence payment — about the same level as the dole.

      To sweeten the deal there is supposedly a ‘transitional payment’. What is going to be the critieria for this? And whats going to happen to those in limbo, those who were found themselves unemployed in their late 50’s, early 60’s and cannot get a job? Hard luck?

      As for cumplosory KiwiSaver. Fuck that. KiwiSaver is a dog. It’s a good idea, but the way its being carried out is a dog. Most KS funds are privately owned, and if the Gordon Gekko wannabe hasant gambled it away, he would have taken half of it in fees.

      Labour deserve another 3 years in opposition for this alone.

      As I said before, the only people who want the age of super raised are those who a) have a cushy retirement plan stashed away somewhere, and b) those who have spent all their working life in an office, sitting on their ass, eating chocolate.

      • Colonial Viper 5.4.1

        Labour deserve another 3 years in opposition for this alone.

        nah, don’t worry about it, current global financial trends will make all of this quite irrelevant. And Labour is still going to be the superior government, for when it hits the fan, by far.

        • Tigger 5.4.1.1

          CV is right (as usual). I’m reading a lot of spoiled kid whining here. Yep, we’re in shot. Yep, we can point finger. And yep, none of that matters if we do nothing.

          True leaders make hard decisions. Proud of Labour for making this one.

          • TightyRighty 5.4.1.1.1

            it’s the first sensible policy from labour so far. I just wish it would come in sooner, push the age out further and be faster about reaching it’s ceiling. but it wouldn’t be politically viable to do it that way. still something is better than nothing and good on them for making it an issue. Just got to see if they actually have the “balls” to see it through should they get the chance.

  6. Brooklyn 6

    Cunning plan? Shed 2% to Winston (maybe get it back in the centre for looking “fiscally responsible”), hey presto coalition partner whose a bottom line is…

    Even if so I’m relieved someone had the balls to point out this goddamn elephant

    Key’s response was his typical smart arse bullshit: “make the pensioners pay for your spending plans, we’ve costed the pension at 65” (for the next 3 years maybe) never mind that this is an issue for as long as we insist on living longer (which JK seems to be setting about addressing). Everyone who will buy it already has mate.

    • Zetetic 6.1

      too cunning.

      look at epsom. National put up Banks’ biographer and the guy is explicitly not asking for people to vote for him. That’s as sophisticated as these inter-party dealings get.

      No way Labour would do this if their polling showed it was a vote loser. Let alone that it would cost them 40,000 votes and they would have to hope they went to Winston.

      I don’t know what NRT was smoking when he came up with that. But it was the most naive, I’ve-been-reading-to-much-fantasy-fiction shit I’ve seen in ages.

  7. tsmithfield 7

    What I can’t believe is how Labour is kicking its own constituency in the guts with this. Low income workers won’t be getting wage rises if employers have to put 7% into a Kiwisaver fund for them. Employers will simply discount the 7% from any wage increase so workers will be worse off for their working lives.

    Also, Labour has absolutely no basis for criticising National for broken promises after trying to scare the electorate that National was going to put the retirement age up last time, and Goff’s recent claim that there was no need to put the age up.

    • ianmac 7.1

      I thought that we needed to save more, as they do in Australia, UK, USA? A gradual increment of the saving plan is not as TS suggests a sudden 7% cut. He is just trying to scare the horses.

      • tsmithfield 7.1.1

        The fact that its an incremental increase won’t change the fact that employers account for it in wage negotiations. Why wouldn’t they? They will just account for it incrementally, thats all.

        Anyway, according to Michael Littlewood, in the audio link I gave above, there is no evidence that compulsory schemes increase overall savings, even in Australia. You should listen to that link. It is quite interesting.

        • queenstfarmer 7.1.1.1

          No need to argue this point – Labour has already conceded it (on page 3 of their policy):

          We recognise that the 0.5 per cent annual increase in the employer contribution could be taken into account as part of wage negotiations.

        • Crashcart 7.1.1.2

          Sorry TS but a lot of middle to low income people aren’t getting pay rises at the moment with our without this contribution increase. For instance in my work we have not had a pay rise for the last 3 years and have been told don’t expect one for another 3 at least. Yet the management just got a nice big one. We don’t have the ability to unionise to do anything about it either. With the job market the way it is you can’t just jump ship else where and I actually do my job more for the enjoyment than the money.

    • queenstfarmer 7.2

      Yep. Strange call by Labour, because in general people who support limiting entitlements tend not to support Labour. It will, ironically, go down much better with those who do support responsible limits on entitlement spending, even though many of them are no doubt frustrated by Key’s silly position on the status quo.

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        Panic in RIghty Ranks lol

        • TightyRighty 7.2.1.1

          you can’t actually conceptualize the fact that someone may like a particular policy without liking the proponent of it or their other policies can you?

          you are the reason the average nat voter is of higher intelligence than the average labour voter

  8. A slap in the face for workers. Labour is doing National’s work for it as the Fourth Labour Govt did. Who cares what other countries are doing, this is just a race to the bottom and NZ is in danger of coming first.
    Workers have increased their productivity many fold over the last century and more. Their share of income relatively to employers has decreased over the same period. A Labour Govt that stood for workers would tell them that they are not ‘entitled’ to a declining share of the income their productivity. It would say they are the wealth producers and their reward for these lifetimes of work would be a right (not entitlement) to retire at 60 years with a living pension funded by compulsory super with employers contributing equally and not at the expense of wage cuts.
    At the same time it would put a real not farcical CGT on speculators of 100% of unimproved value to stop rent rorting NZs finite land base. A Hone Heke tax would reel in the financial parasites. Kiwi bank would soon take on the role of a state bank and the Aussie banks would go home. Re-nationalising state assets would see their profits accrue to the state not private corporates. The income from all these activities would pay for a UBI and decent health, education, housing and retirement. This “Labour” Party is a travesty of the meaning of ‘labour’.

    • Jenny 8.1

      …. compulsory super with employers contributing equally and not at the expense of wage cuts.
      At the same time it would put a real not farcical CGT on speculators of 100% of unimproved value to stop rent rorting NZs finite land base. A Hone Heke tax would reel in the financial parasites. Kiwi bank would soon take on the role of a state bank and the Aussie banks would go home. Re-nationalising state assets would see their profits accrue to the state not private corporates. The income from all these activities would pay for a UBI and decent health, education, housing and retirement.

      dave brown

      According to CV, Labour are to “frakin” brave to support any of these sensible policies that you have put up here Dave.

      (I am still not sure if CV was just being ironic or not.)

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        Guys, relax. By 2020 when this 2mth per year shift starts occurring, it won’t.

        Peak debt and peak oil will make sure of that.

        BTW I fully support Dave’s ideas, and from a democratic socialist perspective.

  9. Craig Glen Eden 9

    More crap from RWNJs, National has no plan, mean while thousands leave for a real brighter future in Aussie.
    When are National going to come clean about what they are going to cut because we all know, even treasury knows they cant balance the books without huge cuts so what’s it going to be Benefits, Working for families, childcare, Healthcare , Education something has got to give. National cant keep borrowing it has to stop.

    • queenstfarmer 9.1

      Yes, and it has set out a detailed plan for balancing the books (another Christchurch type event excluded, of course). Labour insisted that this plan would be discredited in the PREFU. It wasn’t.

      Labour on the other hand has already pledged billions of unfunded promises, including borrowing to pay for tax cuts.

      • r0b 9.1.1

        including borrowing to pay for tax cuts.

        Say queen – where did you get your irony bypass? The surgeon did a really nice job!

        • queenstfarmer 9.1.1.1

          Ironic because… you think that I supported some other party doing the same thing? I have done no such thing. All spending should be properly funded (with the perpetual exclusion of emergencies, like Christchurch). All parties must be fiscally responsible, more so in a weakened global situation.

          This election, it appears that the gap will be particularly stark, given Labour’s huge unfunded spending promises in a very weakened global economy.

      • lprent 9.1.2

        Bullshit. The figures from treasury for growth are complete crap. Apart from a few fools in the media (John Armstrong for instance), you’d be hard put to find anyone in business who thinks that NZ can get up to a sustained 3-4% growth in the next 5 years. Over the next two years we’re going to be lucky to get to not go backwards. That awareness is especially the case for exporters who are looking at the euro zone going down the toilet, the employment figures and political instability in the US, and the difficulties in the growth for China.

        I guess that you could be one of those moronic fools yourself without any understanding of the world markets. Or just another pathetic John Key wannabe believer in the big lie.

        Once you remove that plank in the ‘plan’, it just looks like a wishlist by the desperate.

        • queenstfarmer 9.1.2.1

          Bullshit. The figures from treasury for growth are complete crap

          I don’t claim to know the accuracy of them. What I do know is that numerous people were predicting that the PREFU would expose National’s promises, and result in an immediate credit downgrade. That didn’t happen (although I would not be so reckless as Key to claim it won’t yet; the rating agencies are clearly in a bearish mood on sovereign debt and I think chances are we will pop up on someone’s computer screen before too long).

          That awareness is especially the case for exporters who are looking at the euro zone going down the toilet, the employment figures and political instability in the US, and the difficulties in the growth for China.

          Again, I don’t think anyone really knows where this is all headed. But if that is your pick, then Labour’s plans to hit these same businesses with massive cost increases at the same time seems particularly unwise. As does borrowing for tax cuts.

          • lprent 9.1.2.1.1

            What I do know is that numerous people were predicting that the PREFU would expose National’s promises, and result in an immediate credit downgrade.

            I only ever saw a few people saying that, and I can’t recall anyone that I notice economic opinion from saying it. I suspect that you’re indulging in the big lie again, or a bit of a fictional licence to inflate your story (ie bullshitting)

            What I did see was people speculating on what the forthcoming review by Moodies would do bearing in mind that we’d had downgrades from the two previous reviews.

            Perhaps you should read on the actual procedures of credit rating agencies and what they are looking for. But suffice it to say that they seldom do rating changes in haste and I can’t remember them ever doing it on the basis of a projection by a interested party (and treasury have every reason in the world to present the best viewpoint).

            I haven’t read Moodies opinion apart from a precis. But that essentially was not a endorsement of the government’s policies. It essentially said that the government was not actively harming the security of money invested in them. I think that would have been about equal the worst report that Cullen ever got from them … Of course that was when we were pulling out of the asian economic crisis in the very early 00’s.

            But if that is your pick, then Labour’s plans to hit these same businesses with massive cost increases at the same time seems particularly unwise.

            The PREFU was completed a couple of months ago (usually about the end of July I think) before many of these things came to a head. Like the political idiocy in the US, and the dithering in the EU. Quite simply politicians and civil servants work on the basis of the information actually available and do not tend to have the faster information networks (like sales information) and reactions of export businesses.

            But what I just said was that exporters are likely to have a tough time for a few years. But of course governments don’t work on that time scale. They literally should be thinking over decades (something that National appears to not do – just look at their tax policies after the last election). Labour is doing exactly what is required and thinking over the longer time frame.

            You are a bit foolish looking at government as if it was something you seriously measure in quarterly statements and forward projections.

      • Crashcart 9.1.3

        I trust a lot fo what you say QST. I try to keep myself niformed of what is going on. I don’t however remember ever hearing any part of a detailed plan other than selling assets and cutting public service.

        Either

        a) That is all national has and it is the same shit they have been pedling for a hell of a long time,

        or

        b) they are doing a hell of a poor job communicating what that plan is to the general public because they are so heavily investing in brand Key.

        Both seem pretty bad to me. And have to agree with Rob on the irony of complaining about Labour borrowing for tax cuts after the last tax swindle National pulled. That doesn’t excuse the stupidity of the idea. Just ironic.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.4

        I don’t claim to know the accuracy of them.

        Sure. just above you claimed that

        (National) has set out a detailed plan for balancing the books

        So either it has or it hasn’t and you say that it has. Don’t try and back away from that now will you.

        Remember we all have scroll buttons which we can use to read what you wrote just before.

        • queenstfarmer 9.1.4.1

          Just because I say that a party has set out a plan, does not mean that I also claim it is accurate and will succeed. I think all parties have plans – I certainly don’t think they will all be accurate (or possibly even based on accurate information).

          You seem to have no trouble reading my comments, and adding forceful and insightful comments, but sometimes you seem to misattribute words to me.

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.4.1.1

            So you claim that National has detailed plans in order to make a point, but in the next breath you go on to say that you have no idea if the plans are accurate and worth the paper that they are written on.

            Thanks.

            • queenstfarmer 9.1.4.1.1.1

              That is a reasonable assessment. I also consider other things to determine what credibility to give them, such as what facts & assumptions the plans are based on, how far into the future they attempt project, other expert analyses / reactions, track records of the parties, etc.

              What do you do?

  10. Sookie 10

    While I agree that the retirement age has to be raised and it should be sooner than 2033, I deeply distrust Kiwisaver (run by dodgy ass money men) and I’m not interested in doing anything for my retirement until my hideous 90’s accrued student loan is paid off, which won’t be until I’m 40. Half of my accursed loan is compound interest, is it any wonder that I hate the Nats? A lot of people my age who have come back from overseas will be in the same boat, plus they’ll have kids and houses in Auckland and other expensive stuff. There’s no point in forcing people to save when they actually can’t.

  11. Descendant Of Smith 11

    I don’t get the priority over raising the NZS age when removing the inclusion of underage partners could be done much more quickly and easily.

    If increasing the age means less people retire and create less space for younger ones to work the savings will only be the difference between the benefit and the NZS rate for many so I would guess savings would be underestimated.

    The baby boomers will be mainly dead in the next twenty years anyway so I also don’t get why income and asset testing is off the agenda – many of that generation keep going on about how everyone should provide for themselves so why shouldn’t they put their own money where their mouth is – including their welfare trusts and their rental properties.

    I see little point in that wealth simply transferring to the next generation when the current one could be living off it.

    Labour have still done nothing about increasing benefit rates anyway so still don’t have my vote.

    • Zetetic 11.1

      The baby boom ended in the mid-60s. they’ll still be with us in large numbers well into the middle of the century. The cost of superannuation as a share of GDP will go from less than 5% to more than 6% in 2050 – more if you don’t believe Treasury’s growth forecasts. Everything else gets squeezed.

      That’s hundreds of billions of dollars more going to old people, many of whom are fit and healthy. 40% of 65-66 year olds are working right now. More money to those people who don’t need it means less for kids, less for education, less for health, less for overseas aid … the list goes on.

  12. tsmithfield 12

    There seem to be a lot of leftie trolls on this thread. 🙂

    [lprent: We get them. They also pick up bans periodically. But they do seem to heed warnings from moderators a lot more ummm willingly. We seldom get repeat offenders because they either work within the limitations or they bugger off. ]

  13. Lanthanide 13

    We keep hearing about all these 65 year olds who are going to be taking up jobs that 20-somethings could be doing.

    I’m curious, what sort of jobs are 65 year olds doing that 20 year olds would be sufficiently skilled to do, or want to do?

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Stacking shelves, waiting tables, driving buses, cleaning offices.

      • Lanthanide 13.1.1

        Gosh how aspirational the right are: Please don’t force all these 65 year old to keep waiting tables and stacking shelves, we need them to retire so they can give these plum jobs to our youth!

        I thought we were supposed to become a high-tech knowledge economy?

    • Jum 13.2

      Lanthanide,

      Where are you coming from – a personal viewpoint because you might be having to work a couple more years?

      More importantly, why do you think these ’65 year olds who are going to be taking up jobs that 20-somethings could be doing.’ are going to be taking up anything; they are more likely to be in extremely good jobs whereby they could be mentoring the 20 year olds.

      • Descendant Of Smith 13.2.1

        I know 8 people in my immediate area who are aged between 65 and 71 who are all in jobs paying more than $50,000 per year. They all have savings and all but one rental properties.

        There are 8 jobs that could be done by younger people and seven of the eight don’t actually need their NZS to live comfortably.

        One has it taxed at 100% because as they say it’s needed to go towards their tax bill.

    • lprent 13.3

      The competition for burger flipping will be intense…..

      • Colonial Viper 13.3.1

        Already is.

        The local BK can fill its $13/hr crew spots almost instantly, usually with <30 year olds but occasionally with older workers.

        But the $14/hr shift manager positions are the ones which are really sought after. Its not unknown to find quite “senior” experienced workers in cut throat competition for those ‘lucrative’ roles.

    • lefty 13.4

      65 year olds and over are in almost every type of unskilled job you can think of. I know I am a union organiser who deals with them every day.

  14. Afewknowthetruth 14

    From the NZ Herald:

    ‘Labour leader Phil Goff officially launched his party’s election campaign today by saying the KiwiSaver change “for all workers” would take effect from 2014.

    Employee contributions remain at two per cent, “because we know families are finding it hard to make ends meet right now, let alone save”.

    However, employer contributions would increase by 0.5 per cent a year from three per cent in 2014 to seven per cent by 2022.’

    This announcement is a clear indication that Phil Goff is away with the fairies and that Labour as a party have completely lost the plot.

    1. The International Energy Agency admitted a year ago that global oil extraction peaked over 2005/2006. Desperate attempts to prop up the energy system via deep-water drilling, fracking etc. are likely to fall short by the end of 2012 and will cause untold environmental damage wherever that are applied.

    2. If we suppose that sufficient oil to maintain present economic arrangemnts could be be delivered to market between now and 2022 (more or less a complete impossibility), continued operation of the present fossil-fuel-based system will completely wreck the global environment in a matter of a decade.

    That’s what LWNJs of Labour describe as ‘Saving our future’.

    • Zetetic 14.1

      you’re pro lifting the retirement age though, clearly.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        The retirement age is going to lift anyways.

        30% of the population is going back to farming.

        • Lanthanide 14.1.1.1

          Well, I doubt that.

          We have much better science, better methods, better crops and stock etc. Even in an energy curtailed future, there will still be mechanised machinery used on farms because it’s one of the biggest bangs you can get for your buck of fuel and will be rationed that way if required. I’ve also seen various initiatives where farms are able to grow bio-fuels on-site, sufficient to sustain their own operations, using fast-growing hardy plants such as hemp and gorse.

          I do seriously worry about the prospects of sustained 30-40%+ unemployment. Society will have to be radically reformed to cope with that sort of burden.

          • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1.1

            It takes a hundred ha. to create enough biomatter to create the biofuels needed to farm just a few ha. of farm land. The math in terms of EROEI is not great.

            The US military is going to get priority allocations of fuel, not civilian farms in NZ.

            We have much better science, better methods, better crops and stock etc. Even in an energy curtailed future, there will still be mechanised machinery used on farms

            Where, in an energy curtailed future, are spare parts for those machines going to be made and shipped from?

            What better crops and animals do we have which don’t rely on high energy inputs in the form of urea and phosphates?

            I agree that all will not be lost, NZ will simply fall back to a 1940’s, 1950’s level of energy use, albeit with some high tech twists.

            • Lanthanide 14.1.1.1.1.1

              “What better crops and animals do we have which don’t rely on high energy inputs in the form of urea and phosphates?”

              Putting hundreds of people to ‘work’ on a farm isn’t going to improve output, either.

  15. Jum 15

    Word has it from a very ‘in the know’ source some time back that Key intended to leave once he had secured a second term for National, under the very promise he had made to resign if the pension age was increased, knowing damned well that English would raise it, because that is what Key and English had pre-arranged.

    Please don’t insult my intelligence by telling me The Hollow Men aren’t capable of that sort of machiavellian thinking; I won’t believe ‘you’.

    Dave Brown has the extra piece of the puzzle in that there should be a transaction tax (whatever it is called) on financial fiddlings/speculations/whatever.

    It also interests me that so many other countries of left and right already have raised ages for pensions. We are constantly hearing about older people of 70s being the new 50s because of good living habits and more physical lifestyles.

    • Lanthanide 15.1

      Key came out a couple of months ago saying that if he won this election, he would stay on as PM and campaign again in 2014 for a third term.

      Of course he would say that, but the fact that he did come out and publicly say it is still worth noting.

      • Ari 15.1.1

        That’s just another promise he has to break though, and from his track record I don’t see that being a problem.

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