Grey Power hypocrites

May 29th, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

have campaigned for years against means testing of . They steadfastly refuse to accept the logic that millionaires who do not need NZ Super, should not get it. They don’t have a problem with the fact someone could still be working at age 65 earning $500,000 a year and still get NZ .

Now it is a legitimate view to be against means testing of superannuation. I think it is the wrong view, but it is a legitimate one. Their official policy is:

That superannuation be accepted as an entitlement and non-means tested.

They also say:

Grey Power is fundamentally opposed to any type of targeting of those in receipt of New Zealand Superannuation.

But compare Grey Power’s policy on NZ superannuation which they get to their submission to Parliament on the annuity paid to former Prime Minister’s:

The sentence “[the] annuity is payable at the rate fixed by the Remuneration Authority and must be paid until the person dies” should read but cannot be claimed if the former Prime Minister is employed. It shall only be applicable when that person retires permanently.

So they are against means testing of their pensions, but for means testing of former PMs when it comes to their annuity.

Now one can have a legitimate view that the former PM’s annuity shouldn’t apply while they are still working. But it gross for Grey Power to argue that NZ Super should be paid to those still working, but not the former PM’s annuity.

I also love the rationale by Grey Power, which is that the Government should reduce their expenditure wherever possible. Yet they have a list of policy demands that would cost the country billions.

 

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24 Responses to “Grey Power hypocrites”

  1. hmmokrightitis (1,558 comments) says:

    Ah come on DPF, a large proportion of these ‘circlers’ vote Winston – you’re expecting signs of intelligence?

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  2. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Some one has to stick up for the elderly because this govt certainly doesn’t. Quite a number of the elderly NZ First voters are ex=National voters. Ask yourself why?

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  3. hj (6,618 comments) says:

    Everyone has to take a haircut so why is National soft on property investors. Would that upset the crowd who have bachs around Success Way Omaha?

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  4. hj (6,618 comments) says:

    I think I read that in Sweden the national Super is linked to the state of the economy (GDP?). People need to know the rules the risks and the obligations. Also we need to have government which projects a realistic view of the world and human condition, not that of rich boys who are always on top.

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  5. Elaycee (4,322 comments) says:

    @hj: what’s wrong with having a bach at the beach?

    If that’s how people choose to spend their money, good on them.

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  6. Chuck Bird (4,741 comments) says:

    I wonder if there is some truth to the story I heard that Key would prefer to means test super that than raise the age. If he does has he an answer to those who hide their income in trusts like many MPs? The are wealthy people now with trusts who have community service cards and other or use trusts to avoid paying for rest home care.

    This sounds like National is testing the water.

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  7. Bed Rater (239 comments) says:

    Joana,

    “Ask yourself why?”

    Because NZF promises ridiculously expensive schemes that the soft and feeble minded elderly fools lap up?

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  8. jims_whare (399 comments) says:

    Can you collate the data DPF to show how much less super would cost if it were means tested for income over say $65K?

    Could you somehow throw asset testing in to the mix as well?

    Would be interesting to see what the current entitlement projections would be for the next 15 years compared to a targeted super scheme.

    [DPF: Off memory the fiscal impact of means testing is less than an age change or indexation change. It does depend on how steeply you abate. However I believe it is important to uphold the principle that we should only provide income assistance to those who need it]

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  9. Paulus (2,546 comments) says:

    Grey Power have become left wing hypocrites, following Winston.
    Used to be a good non political balanced organisation – now being used by its new leaders.

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  10. Roflcopter (445 comments) says:

    Means test the superannuation, and any savings to be used to increase the pension $$$ paid to those who can receive it.

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  11. Martin Gibson (229 comments) says:

    Democracy always fails because people vote for mutual exclusives, especially when they’re old and scared.

    Generation X has to find its own political voice and stand up against the idiocy stacked on us instead of just buying tickets out of here, tempting as that often is.

    We’re so screwed, but there are not many votes in being honest about how much more screwed we are gonna be.

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  12. grumpyoldhori (2,413 comments) says:

    Means testing any bastard who is making more than me in total sounds entirely fair, as for generation X it is your duty to work hard to keep me in comfort.
    So just grab your ankles Generation X for the screwing you will get soon with all those baby boomers retiring.

    Chop the super amount down ? well you will give us old bastards the vote won’t you.

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  13. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Means testing is a seductive concept, but, the end result of any seduction is that someone gets screwed.

    The major problem is that as one’s income level increases, the motivation for hiding income in the myriad of ways available to those with clever accountants increases exponentially. In addition, around the margins people fall through the cracks and end up in the headlines when they die, alone and cold because they can’t afford heating- and no government enjoys those headlines. Universality is a pragmatic response to that problem.

    But here is something I would ask of supporters of means testing – essentially, isn’t it just a tax increase on the higher income earners. And we keep being told the (nonsensical, but never mind) fringe economic theory that the lower the tax rate for the wealthy, the more tax they will pay, hence justifying the recent largess to that group.

    So who are the real hypocrites here?

    This is what right wing governments do – they stereotype a group as bludgers etc., stigmatising that group as somehow “underserving,” in preparation for screwing them. In this case, it will be those on the margins – and not everybody gets to super age owning their own house, so have mortgages etc. (in my case, a school age child) – and it is simply impossible to apply testing regimes without widespread injustice occurring.

    As far as the abuse of Greyppower is concerned, it is a lobbying organisation just doing it’s job, without hiring the likes of (lobbyist) Mathew Hooten to fill the ether with their distortions and misinformation.

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  14. Cunningham (828 comments) says:

    joana with all due respect that is a load of crap. How have the elderly been mistreated by this government? I am all for taking care of our elderly but they seem untouchable when it comes to makig changes to super. Credit to Labour, The Greens etc for at least admitting we need to look at doing something about it. That is one issue I am very disappointed National is not even trying to address. It is a massive problem that will hit us like a tidal wave in time.

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  15. Chuck Bird (4,741 comments) says:

    “That is one issue I am very disappointed National is not even trying to address. ”

    This is all about Key. He stuffed up by making a stupid lifetime promise. Means testing would bring in instant results and he could try to argue that he is keeping he word.

    I forget his exact words but I think he promised not to touch super. That to me means the age, the means of determining the the amount and that would including means testing.

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  16. hmmokrightitis (1,558 comments) says:

    Luc: “This is what right wing governments do – they stereotype a group as bludgers etc., stigmatising that group as somehow “underserving,” in preparation for screwing them.”

    Absolutley agree. That whole wreckers and haters thing is this right wing government to a ‘T’…

    Oh, hang on a tick…

    What a load of shit Luc. Feel free to point us in the direction of where examples of this take place, other than in your delusional mind. Think you will find that ‘right wing governments’ propose changes – taking the leadership role we expect them to – and the usual bleaters on the left wank on about how they are being repressed, a la Monty Python. Like dear Comrade Sue, telling us that all beneficiaries will be forced at gunpoint to take contraceptives, becuase JK is a baby hating monster.

    Unlike the last labour government that rammed home change with sod all consultation, and no mandate. Take your pick of those. But you keep the blinkers on.

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  17. Cunningham (828 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird I don’t mean to sound selfish but I would rather the age was raised and it kept universal. I cost the taxpayer very little yet earn a decent amount of money so pay a decent amount of tax. I am fine with this but I would like to think at the end of my life I get something back as a recognition of my contribution. I am resigned to the fact though that in 30 years when I get to 65 (or 67!) I will get nothing. Kind of pisses me off but I think it is inevitable.

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  18. travellerev (149 comments) says:

    Some thoughts on David Schearer for Labour lovers

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  19. hmmokrightitis (1,558 comments) says:

    “National leadership is driven by greed and venal hatred Labour leadership is driven by idealism ”

    You sir are as mad as possibly mad can be. Madder even than the March hare, more mad even than a mad womans shit. You have taken mad lessons from the king of mad.

    And Im almost certain you smell faintly of elderberries.

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  20. KevinH (1,142 comments) says:

    Means testing is employed already across a range of Government benefits, ie WFF, DPB,Inwork tax credits,therefore it would not be a stretch to include super.
    It is in my view politically and economically irresponsible not to means test super.

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  21. Michael Mckee (1,091 comments) says:

    Kenin H, Chuck Bird et al

    I disagree completely.
    When people have paid in all their working lives or even some of it to, then deny them access to what their tax has provided is wrong in every way possible.
    It breaks the social contract at all levels.

    There is a far more compelling argument from those who say that those who don’t put in to the pot shouldn’t take out of it.

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  22. Joseph Carpenter (210 comments) says:

    The problem with means testing is the moral hazard and the perverse incentive it gives, why should the ant who saved be penalised by the grasshopper who earned exactly the same amount but blew it all on wine, women and song?

    Regarding superannuation more generally, at the moment we have an Tax (on earned income inwards), Tax (on investment gains during), Exempt (on pay-out) – a TTE system. Means testing is in effect a tax/surcharge on pay-out so we would move to the statist holy grail of Tax, Tax, Tax (TTT) – and we think we have a big problems at the moment with saving imagine TTT. I think we should have a fundamental debate on superannuation principles – surely a ETT system is greatly superior to a TTE system in every way so why don’t we change towards it if it benefits everyone?

    I fear instead a future government will move to a full TTT scheme, Labour already pledged to do this with their CGT on investments and Kiwisaver. I can see them now: evil rich prick John Ant has half million bucks in his Kiwisaver account (because he bunged in 4% of his gross pay for 30 years) but his co-worker poor old Joe Grasshopper only has National Super, we must abate John Ant’s Nat Super down to zero based on his Kiwisaver to pay for Joe. And if John says that’s unfair we will point out that a lot of his Kiwisaver came from Government anyway. I don’t think they will be able to resist raiding the vast future Kiwisaver accumulations for offsetting against National Super and/or aged care especially since they know exactly what’s in it, trusts/company/legal structures won’t help you here.

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  23. big bruv (13,526 comments) says:

    Hang on a moment…..

    So those of us who work all our life, pay a shit load of tax so wankers like Phool Ure can sit on his arse all day get to retirement and find that we are not getting one cent back from the huge amount that has been stolen from us all through our working lives.

    Once again the only people who will be getting a pension are the same losers and parasites that I spent a working life funding.

    How the fuck is that fair?

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  24. Michael Mckee (1,091 comments) says:

    You’ve got it in one Big bruv.

    I’d advise not voting Labour – Greens- Mana- UF if you don’t want that to happen.

    Right now I’m not sure that National shouldn’t be on the list too :-)

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