Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Polite cough from the Super Gorilla

Statistics NZ have released the latest Life Expectancy figures for March 2009. Newborn girls can expect to live an average of 82.2 years and a newborn boy 78.2 years:
These levels for 2006–08 represent longevity gains of 1.1 years for females and 1.9 years for males since 2000–02. Since 1975–77, life expectancy at birth has increased by 6.8 years for females and 9.2 years for males.
Assuming the National Super remains at 65, a newborn female can expect an average of 17.2 years on the taxpayer, while males average 13.2 years. Note: free off-peak public transport, Health dollars and other Golden Oldie giveaways not included in costings. Assume also that the average working life is around 40 years (very generous assumption), it won't take long for the affordability of the current scheme to break down.

No welfare system can afford to run a "work two thirds of your life, get one third free" scheme. The required tax take would be too horrendous to contemplate. That's the best case scenario too. Because in all probability, life expectancy will continue to rise faster than the eligibility for National Super. No government wants to bring the hammer down on this powerful and vocal voting bloc, yet something's got to give. Fun and games eh.