The Labour Party will today lodge a breach of privilege complaint against the Prime Minister for misleading Parliament over advice he received about scrapping the KiwiSaver kickstart.
Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says John Key misled the House on May 26 during the following exchange:
Rt Hon John Key: Firstly, savings records have improved under this Government. Secondly, there are multiple ways of measuring those things. And, thirdly, the removal of the $1,000 kick-start contribution will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver.
Metiria Turei: What evidence does the Prime Minister have that the sign-up rates for KiwiSaver will not be affected?
Rt Hon John Key: That is the formal advice from the Inland Revenue Department, and it is supported by the view that the people who are joining KiwiSaver are essentially doing so because it is now well organised within the workplace. Some of the big scheme providers are extremely well organised. We have got about 15,000 to 20,000 people joining in a month. I would be very, very surprised if it changes at all as a result of this.
“Budget documents released yesterday show the Inland Revenue told John Key the exact opposite of what he told Parliament.
“Inland Revenue actually said the impact of scrapping the kickstart on KiwiSaver providers would be a ‘lower numbers of KiwiSaver members (particularly among the self-employed and children)’.
“Instead of reflecting this advice, the Prime Minister simply made a blanket statement claiming the IRD backed his position.
“The Prime Minister has a fundamental requirement to tell the truth to Parliament. Blatantly misrepresenting advice he receives brings the integrity of Parliament into question.
“John Key must lead by example by having the highest standards of integrity. If he can’t be trusted to be truthful in Parliament, how can the public have confidence in any of his statements or those of his ministers?”