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Cullen says no to authority

Finance minister Michael Cullen rules out setting up another taskforce on super.

Tuesday, July 31st 2001, 10:24PM
Questions in Parliament on July 31, 2001

MARK PECK (Labour) to the Minister of Finance Michael Cullen:

Q: Has he received any further suggestions on the future of superannuation policy?

A: I have seen a report that we should set up a committee to discuss multi-party agreement on the cutting of entitlements. We will not discuss the proposed National Party’s Super Authority because it is a Trojan horse to smuggle in a policy of cutting the pension, just as the Nats have done three times before.

Q: Will he agree that he is wrong when he says that his super fund secures the pensions of old people?

A: No I won’t.

Q: John Wright (Alliance): Why is the bill in three parts.

A: Because each part is essential. Part one sets entitlements. Part two sets up the fund to pay for them. And Part three is a key to political stability allowing parties to sign up to parts one and two.

Q: Richard Prebble (ACT): Is he borrowing all the money. And why are we borrowing and hoping?

A: He has now admitted that the real reason to hold talks is to discuss the cutting of pensions. Thanks for being honest.

Q: Did he see a report that NZ Post’s super fund took a bath, and lost 15%, and that the medium performance for many other super funds was close to 0% gains.

A: When economies slow down the rates of return on funds decrease. But does he suggest that noone should ever invest in equities?

Q: What stability is there in a proposal based on the support of NZ First who want something completely different to what is being enacted?

A: I would rather have had the honest support of NZ First, than the support of a National Party that has broken every promise it has ever made to superannuitants.

These are paraphrases of questions put in Parliament for oral answer. They are not complete or official, the official record of Parliamentary proceedings is Hansard, which is not finalised till some days after the event.

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