English open about superannuation

In an interview on The Nation this morning Bill English said that he won’t make the same undertaking that John Key did not change national superannuation.

However Newshub has taken it further, suggesting that a non-commitment at this stage meant that things could change.

All it means is that English isn’t ready to reveal his and National’s preference on super but he said he would be clear about it before the election.

Newshub: Bill English won’t make same superannuation promise as John Key

His predecessor John Key famously said he’d resign if he tightened eligibility for the benefit, which every Kiwi over the age of 65 can receive, regardless of their income or wealth.

Mr English told The Nation it was the right call to make at the time.

“People didn’t have to worry through tough times about what was going to happen.”

But with Mr Key’s departure, the fiscally conservative new Prime Minister says it’s a chance to “reset” expectations, with an aging population and more people working into their late 60s.

“I haven’t made the same undertaking as John, so we have the opportunity for a bit of a reset there.”

That could mean English won’t make any hard and fast commitment, or he could. Newshub chose to promote one option.

Changes to superannuation could be on the cards.

Talking to Three’s The Nation, Prime Minister Bill English said people need to know what’s happening before the election, hinting there could be tweaks made.

But whether that means a change to the age of eligibility or its annual indexing to wages, he won’t say.

“You’ll just have to wait and see. We would not anticipate any drastic changes.”

So this is pretty much non-news at this stage.

“People deserve to know what the Government’s view is when they go to the polls.”

So we should find out by then. Newshub speculation is meaningless.

And any views expressed by National or Labour before the election may be meaningless on superannuation anyway.

If either party requires NZ First to form a ruling coalition then any changes to super entitlements are likely to be off the negotiating table as a bottom line. It would be heresy if Winston Peters gave ground on pensions.

So regardless of what National or Labour say about super before the election voters won’t know if anything could change or not until after the election.

Leave a comment


  1. Slackjaw John Key was a weakling populist leader who took this country backwards with social pandering. That is Co-Governance, lack of Regional development, Corporate welfare, Immigration , Housing . And the refusal to come to terms with Super.
    Neither will Winston of course , but he ticks other boxes for the improvement of NZ society .
    English will process along a path to change Super, and Capital gains.
    Also a weakling at heart he will continue with Co-Governance

  2. Kitty Catkin

     /  4th March 2017

    It’s a tangent, I know, but I read today that Mike Hosking abused the press for the old drink driving story, told it in detail and then said some more about the press raking it up. Consistency, thou art a jewel.

    Super is very generous, I think-especially as other people are paying for it.

    • Corky

       /  4th March 2017

      Good old Mikey. The quintessential middle-class tosser come prat. I like him. Great incisiveness when summarising a topic. The verdict is delivered in a staccato burst unlike other meandering also ran commentators. Plus he has a Ferrari and takes Turmeric in his coffee…that’s cool.

      Er, super…Oh, yeah. He will have a whole heap more than anyone else on this site, bar one. Please stick to the topic,Kitty.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  4th March 2017

        Sowwy. Mea culpa.

        I don’t like him-his supercilious expression and know-all attitude are such a turn-off. Middle-class tosser cum prat is about it. Good for him if he has a Ferrari,lovely cars and if he can afford one he should have one, but why does he think that we need to know about the turmeric ?

  3. Col

     /  5th March 2017

    Glad others have picked up on the way the media have twisted what English mean’t with his rest comment.

  4. thetackler

     /  5th March 2017

    John Key made a solemn vow never to raise the age of superannuation for as long as he was prime minister. (And he exited the office 8 years later having kept that promise.)
    Bill English hasn’t undertaken to raise the age. All he has done is to decline to promise not to, during his own term of office. He hasn’t thrown out the tiniest of hints that he plans to do so. But the silly Lisa Owen tried to gotcha him into doing so. He deftly evaded her typical gotcha trap by declining to confirm, dispute or deny all the options open to him. So the mainstream media — and TV3’s print counterpart, Stuff — just invented a fake news story that he is planning to raise the super age. He said nothing of the sort.

  5. I don’t think this will surprise anyone.


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