Keeping You

Money: Broken promises – the 2018 ‘Winter Warmer’

29 May 2018

If you 65 or over or are interested in the broken promises of political parties, you will be interested to learn that the Labour Party election promise to pay all superannuitant couples $700 over winter to help with their winter heating bills has been fiddled.

How come? Because instead of starting it in May 2018 and going through to September each year, the government has delayed the start date till July 2018. This year they will pay a reduced $413 for a superannuitant couple. Only next year couples will get the $700. Now that wouldn’t have looked so good on the hustings last year.

Why did they do this? To save themselves some money, of course, but why exactly did they promise something and then take it away?

In the first place, Labour promised $700 per couple as National had promised an extra $680 for superannuitant couples during the election and Labour had to trump it. But in the fine print, Labour said that people had to apply for it rather than paying it automatically with their NZ super payments, and they expected that 20% of people wouldn’t sign up for it. This gave Labour some savings.

Labour then listened to the people who complained. It turned out that less-well-off superannuitants were likely to be the ones that wouldn’t sign up for it. So, they made it paid automatically.

“Oh no”, said the fiscal conservatives in the new government’s fiscal department, “You are not getting any more money for superannuitants.” So, to make the money stretch over the two years, 2018 and 2019, without spending any more than they expected (80% of the full cost) they delayed the start date this year till 1 July.

If only the weather would play ball, we could survive till then without the payment.

Something to consider: the payment of $700 over the winter is for superannuitant couples. An individual gets $450 over a full winter.

Keep asking great questions …


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