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National Party Endorses Government Subsidy For KiwiSaver

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The National Party says it will keep some form of government subsidy for people taking part in KiwiSaver if it wins the election, finance spokesman Bill English says.

In a speech to the super fund summit in Wellington today, Mr
English reiterated National's stance that it would withhold its policy
on the Government's savings scheme until closer to the election.

But speaking afterwards he indicated National was likely to keep some form of government subsidy.

"We haven't suggested anything about changing the government subsidy into KiwiSaver," he told Radio New Zealand.

"We've said KiwiSaver will remain and we'll announce our policy when we're ready ... there's no doubt there will be KiwiSaver with a government subsidy under National."

At present those joining the scheme get a $1000 kickstart. They
then get a tax credit of up to $20 a week, and their employers, which
will have to contribute 4 percent of their wages by 2011 will also get
a tax credit of up to $20 per week.

National has previously accepted the first version of KiwiSaver
but has not committed to the enhanced version, complete with tax
credits and employer contributions, announced by Finance Minister
Michael Cullen in last year's budget.

Mr English would not commit National today to keeping the employer contribution component of the scheme.

Dr Cullen said National had previously attacked the scheme and
it was important to look at all the details of its policy once it was
on the table.

"Let's see how they spell out their policy in detail," he told reporters.

"They are obviously at sixes and sevens. They've completely
condemned the programme, said it was useless, said it wouldn't work."

He said axing employer contributions would be "silly", as there had been little opposition from businesses.

He said the scheme was rapidly approaching 500,000 members, which was probably the reason for National's latest "flip flop".

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