NEW ZEALAND - The country's First Party has warned the National Party and Labour Party to prepare to lift superannuation levels to 68% of the national average wage after the next election, following the two other major parties reportedly agreeing to retain the current 66% level.
He commented: "With inflation at its current levels, 66% means that the elderly are barely keeping up with imported inflation - not the real cost of living.
"The cost of 68% is an estimated NZ$200m which is quite affordable and it would mean fewer elderly people shivering in their homes or cutting back on basic foods," he added.
Liz Baxendine, national president, NZ Age Concern, said the proposed increase was not enough to keep the most vulnerable older New Zealanders healthy and safe.
She continued: "We completely reject the artificial linking of the national average wage for a single person to the super payment for a couple.
"Let's compare apples with apples, the average weekly wage for one person should be compared with the weekly single national superannuation rate - then New Zealanders would really see how little they really get to live on," she added.
Age Concern said it wanted more investigation into the income that seniors really need to maintain their health and safety.
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