Labour admits defeat by advancing serious policy

SUNRAY – commentary on politics and policy
Read Darel Hall‘s commentary every Monday.
Darel has a background in tertiary education policy and politics and was the Deputy Director of the Labour Party Research Unit during the first term of the last Labour-led government. His goal is to provide a thoughtful perspective that causes readers to reflect on their experience, understanding and beliefs.

In August this column asked the question “Who will increase Superannuation eligibility to 67?"

At the time the rather moderate proposal of raising general entitlement from 65 to 67 advanced by the Retirement Commission was discussed.

The Commission made the point that spending will rise from about 4.5% of GDP now to over 7% by 2040. But that with a gradual increase to 67 starting in the next 10 years and arriving at 67 by 2033 spending will remain at a more sustainable rate of about 5.5%.

As demographics will drive policy no matter which party is in power the view was advanced that a gradual raising of the Superannuation will happen and that it’s really a question of who does it, when and the details of how.

It turns out that Labour has picked up the Retirement Commissioner’s view and released policy getting to an eligibility of 67 over 12 years from 2020 to 2033.

This has been “warmly welcomed” by well known National Party strategist and partisan David Farrar.

The oddest response so far has been from Peter Dunne who claims there isn’t a problem and if there were then his policy to solve the apparently non-existent problem is the best one.

The early polling on the Herald poll is 40% for 67 and 60% for 65.

That’s surprisingly positive for Labour given how contentious a policy area this is.

This pundit’s view is that by advancing serious generally unpopular policy that is demographic driven rather than ideologically driven on superannuation as well as other policies such as Capital Gains Tax, Labour has admitted election defeat.

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