9. MATT DOOCEY (National—Waimakariri) to the Minister for Social Development: How is low inflation supporting a real increase in superannuation?
Hon ANNE TOLLEY (Minister for Social Development): Thanks to the strong financial management of this Government, superannuation has increased by over 34 percent since 2008, which is double the rate of inflation of 15.5 percent in that same time. As this Government has committed to keeping superannuation and veterans pension rates at 66 percent of average income, both rates will increase by 2.73 percent on 1 April. This means that, in addition to lower living costs, our superannuitants are better off, with an extra $15.74 a week for a married couple, $10.23 a week for a single person living alone, and $9.44 for a single person sharing accommodation.
Matt Doocey: In addition to superannuation, what other supports are set to increase on 1 April?
Hon ANNE TOLLEY: On 1 April changes introduced as part of the child hardship package will come into effect. That means benefit rates for families with children will rise by $25 a week after tax—the first real increase in 43 years. Given the falling cost of living, this is a significant increase for these families on a benefit. Working for Families rates will also increase by $12.50 for low-income working families, and $24.50 for very low-income working families. The child hardship package reaches over half a million children and will help ease the depth of hardship experienced by families in New Zealand’s lowest-income households.
It's super politics when staying in government is the top priority. But is it fiscally responsible? Is it going to help low income people in the long-term?
Reducing the gap between income from work and income from welfare is very risky. National of the early 1990s did the very opposite to National of 2016. It increased the gap in an explicit effort to get more people working.
Both Labour and National agree that work is the best way out of poverty. I have records of both Helen Clark and John Key making this assertion.
The real problem is, neither have acted like they believe it.
Add too that the John Key-led government is now fully embracing and boosting what he once called "communism by stealth".
Labour have been utterly out-Laboured.
David Seymour then inserted a supplementary:
David Seymour: How long after the current Prime Minister’s retirement will the Government raise the age of entitlement to New Zealand superannuation?
Mr SPEAKER: No. Oh, I will let the Minister address it. It is a marginal question, I have to accept.
Hon ANNE TOLLEY: That is so far in the future I could not even contemplate it.
So again we have a National government not only bragging about increasing Super payments but promising an increase in recipients by way of the ageing population with no change to qualifying age.
They can hold their National voters so long as the pretence that nobody has to pay for it lasts.
But they can't continue to ramp-up redistribution without increasing revenue or cutting services.