The number of working New Zealanders needing to stop Kiwisaver payments is another sign that many people are not seeing benefit from growth in the economy, says Grant Robertson Labour’s Finance spokesperson.
"There has been an increase of 14 per cent in the number of people taking a contribution holiday from Kiwisaver. This is a big jump, but in an environment when household debt is at record levels and wages for most people are stagnant, it shouldn't be a surprise.
"Having a job, working hard and saving used to give New Zealanders confidence that they would be able to build a better future for them and their families. At the moment many people are getting more and more into debt simply to make ends meet and sadly making space for retirement savings feels like too much for some.
"We need to restore that confidence to New Zealanders that their hard work will be rewarded. We want to see wages lift, through increases in the minimum wage, more adoption of the Living Wage, and through investment in the things that will help create higher paying jobs, like education, training, research and development.
"Also we need to fix the housing crisis that is driving the record debt levels. This means the Government taking an active role in building affordable houses and cracking down on speculators who are driving up housing costs.
"National have consistently undermined the Kiwisaver scheme since they got into office. They have abolished the kick start payment and taxed employer contributions. This is not helping keep people enrolled or return after they have a break. These short-sighted changes are typical of a Government that is focused on how they look in the next twenty four hours not how the country will look in the next twenty years.
"We need to plan carefully for New Zealanders to have security in retirement and a fully functioning Kiwisaver is a big part of that." Grant Robertson said.