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Mike's Minute: We don't need a super debate right now

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 16 Feb 2024, 10:02AM

Mike's Minute: We don't need a super debate right now

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 16 Feb 2024, 10:02AM

The odd stat of the week was the 50,000 people who claim superannuation but also earn over $100,000 a year. 

That doesn't mean anything. But as a result of that odd stat, yet again off we went down a bit of a rabbit hole debating superannuation and its many and various outworkings. 

1) We are not changing super. 

Every time someone suggests it, the political unpalatability becomes fairly obvious, fairly fast. This new Government are your current example. Some would up the age but the ones who wouldn’t won the day, so we aren't. 

2) The 50,000 earning the $100,000 is merely a reminder of how poor we are as a country. 

50,000 is not a lot of people. 

3) Superannuation is an entitlement. We decided that decades ago. Its trigger is age, not wealth. That would make it a benefit and it's not a benefit. 

4) I'm so over that tired old line of "we deserve it because we paid our taxes". 

The sad truth about being a poor country is that not many people get paid a lot of money, hence only 50,000 earn over $100,000 in old age. 

Our tax system is horrifically skewed and the so-called wealthy, who aren't actually wealthy at all, pay a disproportionately high amount. There are many, many people who pay their taxes, but it doesn’t cover the amount of state support they actually use. 

Where the hell do you think the money comes from to support the average job seeker recipient for 13 long years? It's the high-income earner. 

So, if you're running that line, you could actually argue only high-income earners should get NZ Super because they actually did pay their taxes, and many other people as well. 

5) We should welcome and admire those 50,000 on over $100,000 because although some of them will have got lucky, most will have actually worked hard and saved hard and set an example for their kids and hopefully the rest of us. 

6) The world is a busy, troubled, complicated place right now. 

Personally, I would like a trade surplus, a more broad-based economy, most kids in school, most kids in school actually getting skills for the future, less stress in the pacific from China, normal people running for the U.S presidency, something a bit longer term in the Middle East and fewer rats in supermarkets. 

A superannuation debate is not really befitting the troubled times in which we exist. 

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