National is looking closely at developments across the Tasman as a pointer to superannuation and savings policy.

By Rob Hosking

Party leader John Key on the weekend pointed to the changes Australian Treasurer Peter Costello made in last year’s Budget.

Key says it would be better to lower the tax on investments in the financial markets rather than try to put more taxes on the real estate in a bid to balance up the investment playing field.

“People talk a lot about [Costello’s] tax changes last year in terms of reducing the top personal rate and the thresholds, [but] the really big changes he made were the ones me made to personal contributions you can make to your superannuation scheme.”

“Maybe level the playing field in terms of other investment options for New Zealanders.”

National now looks set to keep KiwiSaver but change the way it is administered.

The direction in thinking was confirmed by the party’s finance spokesman Bill English, who says the party is giving a lot of thought to this area.

Senior National politicians were this week briefed by officials on KiwiSaver and related matters such as Working for Families.

That in itself is an unusual move, and does show some common ground between the two large parties.

Although it is “early days? English says the party is looking to accept KiwiSaver but change the way it operates.

“What we’re looking at is some way of making KiwiSaver more compatible with what the people it is aimed at really want.”

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