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PM thinks super policy will help Nats win

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/03/2017

Prime Minister Bill English says he's happy to put the government's new superannuation policy to the test at a general election, and believes it will enhance National's chances.

Mr English on Monday announced the age of eligibility would increase from 65 to 67 in 2040, with the change phased in from 2037.

The plan is to put legislation through parliament next year - which means if National loses, it won't happen.

"The plan we've outlined is fair and reasonable and I think it will have broad public support," he said.

"We're happy to see it put to the test at a general election."

Asked whether he though it would harm National's chances, he said he believed it would have the opposite effect.

"I think it will enhance them - people expect governments to deal with the long-term issues and we now have the opportunity to do that."

Mr English said if other parties opposed the policy, they would have to argue why there should be no change, ever.

Labour campaigned on raising the age of eligibility in 2011 and 2014, and lost both elections, but Mr English didn't think that indicated National would be harmed in the same way.

Andrew Little scrapped Labour's superannuation policy when he became party leader after the last election.

Mr English said Labour had wanted to raise the age of eligibility over a much shorter time frame.

"But they had a lot of problems last election, not just super," he said.

Mr English wouldn't speculate on how National's partner parties, or NZ First, would react in terms of post-election negotiations to form a government.

He believed Labour might eventually support the government's policy.

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