KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan

National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver has seen a big improvement in that rate. Cutting it off at the knees makes no sense.

“KiwiSaver was set up by Michael Cullen to ensure Kiwis had a nest egg for retirement and businesses had a large source of local investment capital. Both are absolutely critical to the long-term success of our country and economy.

“National says the policy saves over $500 million over four years. That means 500,000 fewer new savers who won’t sign up to KiwiSaver as they don’t get the $1000 kickstart. National’s kickstart cut is a kick in the teeth to a young generation of savers

“This kind of short term thinking is sadly typical of this Budget. The lack of initiatives to create jobs, boost exports, grow the regions or diversify the economy is remarkable. Instead it’s the same old promise of getting to surplus by cutting somewhere else. 

“The wafer thin surplus promised for 2015/16 of $176 million is ‘coincidentally’ almost exactly the same as next year’s savings ($175 million) from cutting KiwiSaver.

“This is a Budget that fails to give New Zealanders a sense of hope to future generations about our economic future,” Grant Robertson says.