The HoS reports:
NZ First will never agree to an increase in the pension age or a reduction in its level of payment, leader Winston Peters says.
And it would rather be in Opposition than be part of a government whose policies it opposed.
But Peters refused to be tied down yesterday on whether the pension age or even asset sales issues would be deal-breakers in any post election coalition talks in 2014, saying NZ First still had “options”.
Ahead of NZ First’s annual conference this weekend Prime Minister John Key challenged Peters to remove any doubt that maintaining the pension age at 65 truly was a bottom line for NZ First.
“I dare him to go out there and say he will not under any condition form a government with Labour even if Labour’s policy is to raise the super age from 2020,” Key said on TV3’s The Nation yesterday.
In a preview of the speech Peters will give to the conference today, he said NZ First would “never agree to reduce the pension or lift the qualifying age from 65 to 67”.
However, Peters’ comments fell short of giving the cast-iron promise Key challenged him to make over Labour’s policy.
This is why I think the only way forward is to entrench the current scheme, and set up a Royal Commission into retirement savings to design a post 2025 scheme.