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.
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.