Politics for politics sake

This week I had the privilege of representing UnitedFuture at the Financial Services Council (FSC) election debate on savings and retirement. We covered a range of issues, but I spoke at length about our FlexiSuper policy.

FlexiSuper allows people to take a reduced rate of New Zealand superannuation from the age of 60, or an enhanced rate if they deferred uptake until 70.

Apart from being cost-neutral,  I’m a huge fan because of it creates fairness and choice. While only 30, I’m not planning to retire until I’m at least 70 (like my grandfather did), so this policy is perfect for me (and others thinking the same).

But more importantly, it recognises that for some people 60 is the age to leave the paid workforce, but they’re currently unable to do so for financial reasons. It’s especially hard on those who’ve worked in manual labour or suffered due to low income and poor health.

In short – it provides fairness and choice for everyone.

After I spoke, each party representative that stood up made a point of why FlexiSuper didn’t work. I don’t mind a disagreement on policy. What I found bizarre, was they then talked about why we should allow people to shift the age they got superannuation to make it fairer. They had no actual plan, no costings, no policy.

Basically, they disagreed with UnitedFuture because they felt they should. Only David Parker (Labour) had a reason (other than “no”) and its hardly a show stopper (its a risk that taking it early is too attractive).  Other countries have a similar system (including USA, France, Japan, Germany, Sweden and the UK) and it works for them.

Instead of actually doing something to help out those that need it and giving choice to all New Zealanders, the other parties seem to have decided that talking about what they wish they could do is better.

It feels like politics for the sake of politics.

While other parties are talking about what they might do, we’re actually doing something about it. Our FlexiSuper discussion paper has been released and feedback collected.

Vote for a party that gets things done, vote UnitedFuture.

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