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Cunliffe: Pathetic Short-sightedness Underlined Again

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The latest Crown financial statements underline yet again the pathetic short-sightedness of the Government in suspending government contributions to the New Zealand Super Fund, says Labour Finance spokesperson David Cunliffe.

David Cunliffe said the Super Fund had gained $492 million more than forecast on its investment portfolio in the six months to 31 December 2009.

"The Fund is now worth $15.96 billion. It has reclaimed all of the investment losses from the financial crisis and it has continued to grow.

"In fact, since Budget 09 the Fund has grown by $2.87 billion. The Government's short-sightedness in cancelling contributions to the Fund has cost it hundreds of millions of dollars, and put the viability of the scheme at risk for future generations," David Cunliffe said.

"It is revealing that Finance Minister Bill English's media release today on the financial statements makes no mention at all of the strong performance of either the Super Fund or ACC.

"ACC's investment portfolio gained $212 million more than forecast in the six months. The Government continues to undermine confidence in ACC's viability, but the reality is that both the Super Fund and ACC are making a strong contribution to the Government's accounts."

David Cunliffe said there were a number of indicators, such as higher Core Crown Revenue, reduced expenses and greater gains from government investments, that were all positive signs of emerging recovery.

"The question now, however, is the extent to which the Government is prepared to allow the vast bulk of New Zealanders to share in that recovery.

"Hard-working Kiwis who have been struggling to make ends meet can justifiably expect the Government in May's budget to recognise the sacrifices they have been making by putting together a tax package that ensures lower to middle-income New Zealanders can share fairly in the better times ahead."

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