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Alliance withdraws support for NZ Super fund

The Alliance does a U-turn on the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and withdraws its support.

Monday, June 24th 2002, 7:23AM

by Philip Macalister

The Alliance has effectively withdrawn its support for the government's multi-billion dollar New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

The controversial fund only passed into law during this parliamentary term because it was supported by the Alliance (other parties to vote for it were Labour, United and New Zealand First).

In the most recent financial year the Government has put $600 million into the fund and it has earmarked a further $1.2 billion in the next financial year.

However, Alliance leader Lalia Harre effectively withdrew support when she released the party's tertiary education policy on Friday.

"We will not put any more money into the superannuation fund until free tertiary education, including a universal student allowance, is once again a reality and public tertiary institutions are adequately funded. "

The Alliance however continues to guarantee superannuation at 65% for each married couple over the age of 65, she says.

The idea of the fund is that surpluses, of up to $2 billion a year, are paid into it and then invested by a Board of Guardians. The money in the fund will be used to partially prefund some future NZ Superannuation costs.

Harre says the Alliance supports real surpluses being transferred to the fund.

"However, a real surplus does not exist as long as our young people are borrowing for living expenses and fees. "

Labour's Associate Education (Tertiary Education) minister Steve Maharey is strongly critical of the Alliance policy and suggests it is "playing the politics of inter-generational envy."

"Writing off student debt is to indulge in the kind of voodoo economics that went out with Ronald Reagan," he says.

 

« Act's low key super policyAMP & Good Returns launch superannuation website »

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