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It's Not too Late to Stop Risky Super Fund

ACT leader Richard Prebble has welcomed a National Bank report which shows the government's superannuation fund will erode economic growth, keep up interest rates and fail to achieve forecast returns.

Friday, November 2nd 2001, 11:42AM

"The report shows that, because every dollar for Dr Cullen's super fund will be borrowed, it's the household equivalent of increasing the mortgage to punt on the share market," Mr Prebble said.

"The Cullen scheme is based on a simple mistake. Dr Cullen, looking at Treasury forecasts last August, mistakenly believed the government would have surpluses for the next four years. This is because the forecasts he looked at had not separated out capital items from income.

"Treasury's current forecasts, which do separate out capital items from income, show that before the expenditure of $6 billion on the super scheme over the next four years, there's already a deficit of $1.6 billion.

"When you add in the cost of the Cullen scheme, New Zealand is massively in the red by over $7 billion.

"If Dr Cullen had realised the government's accounts are in the red, not black, he would never have proposed the scheme.

"If it was possible to hold a secret ballot of MPs, not one caucus would now support the super fund proposal.

"ACT has urged Dr Cullen to use the events of September 11 if he wants a face-saving way to get out of this borrowing-on-your-credit-card-for-your-retirement scheme," Mr Prebble said.

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