Thus far, I have seen no evidence that means testing NZ Superannuation has been seriously considered in NZ. All our tiny minded journalists seem to be able to understand is that PM Key said he would not agree to either an increase in the age of eligibility or a decrease in the amount of the pension, relative to average wages.
Adolf has roughly half his age pension paid from NZ and roughly half from Australia.
I happen to have a four day per week casual job which brings in about $20k per annum. For every dollar I earn over $126 per week, my Australian pension abates by $0.25. ($0.50 if you are single or your wife receives the pension.) The NZ pension remains unchanged. The long and the short of it is that a married Australian age pensioner ceases to be eligible once his income reaches about $60k. Seems pretty sensible to me.
There is a concurrent asset test as well. The family home is exempt from consideration and I think the level at which abatement occurs is something like $400k.
I appears nobody in NZ has done the homework to assess just how much would be saved if a similar means test were introduced in NZ. Does anyone reading this know how to run the numbers? It would be nice to see the following:-
- total number of recipients whose private income currently exceeds $60k with the estimated reduction in expenditure
- estimated number whose incomes exceeding $30k and the associated reduction in expenditure
- Comparison of the above expenditure reductions with that derived from moving the age of entitlement up by two years.
Anyway, I'm blowed if I know why My Key and the Gnats don't go for a means test. It should be hellishly easy to sell. After all, it is really taxing the 'rich pricks' and Cunliffe would have to support it or be seen to be a dork.
Such a move would preserve Mr Key's promise to not meddle with the age of eligibility or the amount paid.