David Shearer made another speech yesterday, and has sensibly decided that Labour will not resume contributions to the Cullen Fund until New Zealand is back in surplus. This is sensible, pragmatic policy from the Labour leader.
But as Rob Hosking reports in the NBR, it may lead to questions from within his caucus; check this out:
The only new move was a promise not to restart repayments into the New Zealand Superannuation Fund – known as the Cullen Fund – until the government’s books are back in surplus.This is National’s position, and Labour has, until today, strongly opposed this.Indeed, Labour hatchet man Trevor Mallard was, only three days ago, criticising National’s policy on this in the House.In a debate on Tuesday on a tax bill – held after that day's caucus meeting, during which it would be expected Mr Shearer would have mentioned the policy change – Mr Mallard said National’s policy in this and other savings policy areas is shortsighted.
Let's consider just what Mr Mallard said on Tuesday of this week; as Hosking notes, a day AFTER the Labour caucus most recently met:
“One of the things that we need to consider is whether, rather than giving preference to offshore lenders, we should, in fact, focus on building up our own domestic capital and domestic borrowing in order to retain the financing of our businesses onshore as much as possible and thereby reduce the flow offshore.“That, of course, would require more ambition around savings than we currently have," he said."I note that it has been the policy of the government to not put money into the Cullen Fund."I note that it has been the decision of the government to run down KiwiSaver, to reduce the incentives and to reduce the flow of payments into the system."And that, of course, is something that works against the development of capital in New Zealand. I think that has been a short-term approach,” Mr Mallard said.
So let's get this straight. What Mr Mallard described on Tuesday as a "short-term approach" is now Labour Party policy, because David Shearer has declared it to be.