House Rises At Midnight

by Desk Editor on Saturday, May 23, 2015 — 12:04 AM

Debate on the first reading of the KiwiSaver Budget Measures Bill was interrupted when the House rose at midnight.

Introducing the bill Todd McClay said it would scrap the $1000 kick starter payment for those signing up to the KiwiSaver scheme. The payment was expensive for the taxpayer and was not targeted. The Government could use the estimated $500 million saved for better things, Mr McClay said.

The bill takes effect retrospectively from 2pm on Budget day, 2.5 million people had signed up to KiwiSaver and taken advantage of the $1000 incentive to join the scheme which then requires them to save part of their earnings.

Labour’s David Clark said cutting the payment would reduce savings at a time when New Zealand needed to increase its savings. National, he argued, did not like the KiwiSaver scheme and had already cut many incentives and would likely look to cut more.

Green MP James Shaw said his party would oppose the bill. He believed it was best to keep the kick start payment, however he could understand the Government’s argument the money could be used elsewhere rather than subsidising “middle class” savers.

Mr Shaw said the Greens would propose an amendment which would mean the kick start payment would still be available to those on a community service card. He said this would mean the poorest in society would still have an incentive to save and it would greatly reduce the overall cost.

The House will resume at 9am tomorrow under Urgency rules to continue debate on the bill and pass it through all stages.

The Border Processing (Arrivals and Departures) Levy Bill is still yet to be passed through all stages under Urgency.

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