Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Currently in Bombay but I note that Leighton Smith on Newstalk ZB this morning rocketed into National for refusing to countenance a rise in the  eligibility age.  

Let me declare my hand.   I support a graduated increase as inevitable notwithstanding the fact the move might be seen as disadvantaging Maori whose average life expectancy is currently 7.3 years less than that of non Maori (although I note the gap is steadily reducing).

Nevertheless it's a fact that John Key gave his word that he would resign as PM should National move to initiate change .... and that's probably where it starts and finishes for now.

And while I can think of any number of sound arguments in support of change there is also one other blockbuster reason to hold off any decision in the short term at least.     Simply, were John Key to break his word on this then I suspect the fallout would almost assuredly guarantee Winston First crossing the 5% threshold with all the consequences likely to accrue from that.     This election is far too important for Winston to be able again to call the shots as Kingmaker.

Three years out and it may be a different ball game.   John Key might not be around and neither might Winston and without Winston, NZ First is nothing, nothing at all.


Anonymous said...

I concur fully; this promise from John Key has always been about Winston not economics, and it is hard to understand that so-called political commentators cannot see that.

Psycho Milt said...

I agree with the post, and it's a pity Key painted himself into a corner on this issue. One quibble re this, though:

...the move might be seen as disadvantaging Maori whose average life expectancy is currently 7.3 years less than that of non Maori...

The raw life expectancy figure isn't a good one to use in this instance, because it's strongly affected by child mortality. It's been a while since I looked at this, but I think the difference in life expectancy from age 65 onwards was only about 4 years, which doesn't seem like that big a deal to me. (Of course, this raises another big question about why Maori child mortality is higher than Pakeha, but I'm not qualified to try answering that one.)

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Milt, its because they bash the poor little bastards to death. Every week.

alwyn said...

The age at which New Zealnd Super is paid doesn't affect the "fairness" or "unfairness" to anyone based on their race. The whole principle of the scheme is to provide an income that will enable a person to have a decent standard of living after they are to old to work. If a person dies they have no further need of the scheme. They don't need an income and that is all that counts. It is not some sort of scheme where the more you pay in the more you can draw out.
The only people who may be disadvantaged by raising the age are those people who have spent their life doing hard manual labour and whose bodies simply do not allow them to go on working, regardless of their age. I believe we, or at least some countries, pay pensions to retired servicemen from quite a young age because they simply cannot carry out their duties in their fifties.
After all, if we were simply to worry about a person's life expectancy I suppose we should pay women less, and pay smokers more, shouldn't we.
I would repeat. We need to provide an income for people who cannot work and if they live to be 95 they need it for much longer than if they die at 60.