Long overdue discussion is now taking place on superannuation. Predictable responses have come from employers and low paid employees of their inability to make a contribution. Low paid employees have yet to gain from government policy and have not received a tax cut. GST movement is a real concern.
Employers are concerned that they would be paying at the current Australian levels. This will not happen . As small employers we have encouraged all our staff to join Kiwisaver. To catch up with Australia in economic or in sovereign wealth terms, funds such as superannuation can only be an aspiration.
We lack the central labour and employer organisations that can make the commitment with their government that Australia enjoys. However, with some imagination, contributions could start at Kiwisaver levels and move progressively each year by a percentage point from each party. In economic times as these, rather than suspend payments, they could be made in half point movements .
The government should do the same with the Cullen fund and always contribute something. This will reassure the public that the government actually has a commitment to universal pensions.