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Another Symbolic Victory

Posted on 18 Jun 2009

ACT New Zealand Finance Spokesman Sir Roger Douglas today congratulated Prime Minister John Key for another symbolic victory over Finance Minister Bill English and economic rationalism, with the announcement that the Guardians of the New Zealand Superannuation fund have been directed to invest 40 percent of their fund in New Zealand.

"Madness reigns supreme - by directing the Guardians to invest more in New Zealand, the fund will have lower returns and will be less able to reduce the burden of funding superannuation in the future," Sir Roger Douglas said.

"This only enforces the emerging trend we have seen between Mr Key and Mr English. Mr Key announces a stupid idea - be it a cycleway or forced investment in New Zealand - Mr English realises the idea is stupid, and distances himself from it.

"The Prime Minister then becomes hell-bent on scoring another symbolic victory over the Finance Minister - who backs down and Mr Key gets his way. But these battles are only resulting in pyrrhic victories - neither the cycleway nor forced investment will make New Zealand better long term.

"The trend is towards an obsession with massaging Mr Key's political image, at the expense of New Zealand's long term prospects.

"Who will this help? It won't help future taxpayers, who will be forced to pay more in taxes for others' retirement. It won't help the Guardians with their decisions, since they now have to balance two competing goals. Everyday New Zealander's will be the losers with the only winner being the NZX," Sir Roger said.


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