Thursday, May 24, 2012

Don't mention the Super Gorilla

Bill English did not once refer to National Superannuation in his Budget Speech. No doubt, he's hiding this heavy expenditure under a concrete lined bushel. No wonder. Comparing the 2013 expenditure to five years ago shows how fast and how big the Super Gorilla in the room is getting.

Looking back at 2009, courtesy of Dim Post's graphic here, National Super took up the lion's share of the Welfare Budget with 7.744 billion on Super spent that year. The 2013 figure is budgeted as $10.2 billion (taken from Keith Ng's excellent interactive graphic here, once I got sick of trawling Treasury's Budget .pdfs and .xls for the figure).

In five years, Super spending has increased by a third. With the boomers retiring in droves, that figure is going to get a lot bigger a lot quicker, but Bill English is relaxed about that. Even David Farrar, who agrees that the Super equation is unsustainable, still maintains that nothing should change until at least 2025.

Any guesses how much Super will cost by then? Or who is going to pay for it? Who cares? sez Bill. John Key will be collecting his Super in Hawaii by then so it's not this government's concern.

UPDATE: Nadine Chlamers-Ross has the low-down on the scary numbers.