New Zealand Prime Minister defends country?s migrant superannuation policy
New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key, has responded strongly to suggestions that older immigrants should be refused superannuation payments.
Leader of the NZ First party, Winston Peters, had called for an investigation into superannuation payments to retiree migrants who had not paid into the scheme as they had never worked in NZ. The PM negated the suggestion, responding that older immigrants pay more in various taxes than they receive via the Super.
Speaking at the first annual conference held by NZ First, Mr Peters told around 200 party members that the country operated the world’s most generous Super scheme for newly–arrived migrants. He added that those arriving at the age of 55 could claim the full payment at the age of 65, even if no tax had been paid during the 10 intervening years.
A further example, he said, referred to a young couple arriving in NZ from China, who were able to bring their elderly parents with them as dependents. After a decade, the parents would be able to claim free healthcare and the full superannuation payment, for which entitlement NZ citizens had to work for all their lives.
Mr Key, however, insists that immigrants with the correct attitude strengthen and stimulate the country, bringing in skills and making massive financial contributions. He told reporters that immigration laws relating to family reunification had already been tightened, adding that $3.3 billion in taxes was paid annually by immigrants and stating that Mr Peters’ comments were an attempt to grab the headlines.
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