The fantasy and the awful reality

by Don Franks

Council of Trade Unions secretary Peter Conway today admitted to being taken aback by Labour’s election pledge to lift the pension age from sixty five to sixty seven.
“Honestly mate, I never thought they’d go one worse than National on super, but it seems they have” said Conway. “Now to rub it in here’s John Key sticking to his promise and vowing not to put the age up.  How we’re going to explain that one to the lads I’m buggered if I know.”
Peter Conway agreed that Labour’s new policy would be much tougher for manual workers and for male Maori workers, whose average life expectancy is only seventy.
“It’s a kick in the teeth for workers generally and of course we can’t just lie down and accept it. No way. Over the next few days we’ll get nationwide delegates meetings together to nut out how we can best resist and defeat this unexpected attack.”
The CTU secretary stressed that there was no way the working class should be expected to pick up the tab for the country’s aging population.
“All the spin about Kiwisaver and consultation is just bosses talk to fob us off with the shitty end of the stick” said Peter. “The fact is Phil Goff’s fluffed his lolly big time and we won’t be wearing it.”

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The Council of Trade Unions says that the savings policy announced by the Labour Party is bold and establishes clear points of difference with the National Party.
Peter Conway, CTU Secretary, said that “The increase in the qualifying age for NZ Super will be a challenging issue for unions to work through. We recognise that we must face up to serious savings issues and that we have an ageing population. But there will also be concerns, particularly among manual workers”.
Peter Conway said that the long phase in period, promise of consultation, transitional payments for those that need it from age 65 years and the ramping up of workplace savings via KiwiSaver will satisfy the concerns of many.
“But we will need to discuss this policy in considerable detail with workers and employers.”
(NZCTU press release 26/10/2011)

One comment

  1. Southern truck driver comments:

    “First off – Phil Gough saying they’ll take the GST off fresh fruit and vegetables…. Why? They are both auction products and the market pays what it will pay – and any drop in price due to removal of GST will simply raise the auction price. Also, you cannot track the so-called savings, so you wouldn’t know if the prices dropped or not.

    Next the pension age. Christ, most poor, manual workers are dead by 65-70 – or damn near it. So raising the age, if you want a cynical appraisal, won’t make a Hell of a lot of difference.

    Next, the KiwiSaver scheme. I opted into it because I was a temp worker and saw that it was a way of increasing my wages by a small amount – having worked out that on the scheme’s introduction no one was going to offer pay increases as well! So, as a temp, I get hired out at the ‘going rate’…. and then the client company finds out that it has to add a bit more to the wage bill for their employer contribution to the scheme. (I had a battle with IRD and some of the temping agencies because the agencies stated a temp has to “opt in” on each assignment. IRD sorted that one out.) Lois, my partner refused to sign up because she hates “the State” interfering with any of her life – including her savings – of which she seems to have a considerable amount!

    Now Labour is talking about making it compulsory! So, once it is compulsory and taken out of everyone’s wages… what happens it you don’t pay for a week? Do you get chased up by IRD – like you do with non-payment of ACC levies or student loans? Of course you will. The “savings” will just become another tax.

    In time everyone will see how the nominated, participating fund managers looking after the dosh seem to clip the ticket a few times and live a pretty comfortable life – so the Government will stop that and contributions (now deductions) will end up somewhere in the consolidated fund…. and contributors after 40 years work will find they don’t get their “savings” back – but some sort of state pension handed out as though they are bludging a subsidy or benefit…. And of course by this time the whole bloody scheme will be a part of the PAYE tax… That is, a tax increase.

    I take it Labour doesn’t want to be in Government. I’m buggered if I’m going to vote Labour.

    It is time the Council of Trade Unions did some serious politicking!”

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