Cullen reflects on KiwiSaver, Super Fund and capital gains

Speaking to a CFA NZ conference Sir Michael Cullen reflected on his career commenting on KiwiSaver, NZ Super Fund and capital gains tax.

Friday, September 25th 2020, 9:23AM

by Daniel Smith

At a CFA NZ conference yesterday evening Sir Michael Cullen reflected on challenges and lessons learned over his political career.

He lamented that the NZ Super Fund was well behind target due to successions of governments pausing contributions. He said that there was really no way to stop any government from raiding the fund, and its only real protection is public opinion.

On KiwiSaver, Cullen said that he regrets giving the $1,000 government sweetener at age zero and wished it was 18. As largely more fiscally minded families have used the contribution as a nest egg for their children and lower income families have missed out.

Cullen spoke lengthily on capital gains tax and said that “going the whole hog on it is probably too difficult” due to its nature as an incredibly volatile political football. He did say that the inaction on the tax has meant that “non-owner-occupied housing has attracted huge gains, to the detriment of the NZ economy”.

Looking towards the future Cullen said that the economy should be geared towards survivable industries for the future. “We need capacity for change, not to go down the same old routes.”

Tags: capital gains tax CFA KiwiSaver Michael Cullen NZ Super Fund

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