1 May 2009

Govt's Super Fund contributions could be suspended: English

8:50 pm on 1 May 2009

Finance Minister Bill English says suspending the Government's contribution to the Superannuation Fund could help bring debt under control.

Mr English told a business group in Christchurch on Wednesday night that the measure is being considered as part of next month's Budget.

He said the Budget is being prepared amid economic conditions considered unthinkable just a few months ago.

He told the meeting his Budget goals include getting rising debt under control as the country weathers the economic downturn.

Mr English said Crown spending rose 51% in the past five years - while the economy had grown 23%.

He said the Government would have to borrow about $40 million a week to make its full Super Fund contribution next year, but contributions could be varied to reflect fiscal conditions.

Mr English said no matter what, superannuation entitlements will be maintained at a minimum 66% of the average wage and paid from age 65.

The 2009 Budget is to be presented on 28 May.