Key challenges Peters over pension age

DANYA LEVY
Last updated 14:51 16/06/2012
john key
'CUTE': John Key said he was "holding hands" with Winston Peters over Super.

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Prime Minister John Key has laid down a challenge to NZ First leader Winston Peters not to form a government with Labour because of its policy of raising the pension age.

Labour's policy is to gradually raise the age of eligibility for Superannuation from 65 to 67 by two-months a year between 2020 and 2032.

NZ First's firm policy is to retain the current age of 65.

Key has said the age will not rise while he is prime minister.

He has become increasingly isolated on the issue after economists and opposition parties agree the age should be looked at and even his support partner United Future wants a flexible retirement age.

On Thursday Key said he was "holding hands" with NZ First leader Winston Peters over Super "which is cute".

Today Key laid down the gauntlet to Peters, who is spending the weekend at the NZ First annual conference in Palmerston North.

"This is my challenge to Winston Peters, I dare him to go out there and say he will not under any conditions form a government with Labour even if Labour's policy is to raise the Super age from 2020, not in the three year period from 2014 to 2017," Key told TV3's The Nation programme.

"I dare him to say that he will not because he's tricky and he'll find a way all around all of that stuff."

The pension age is being discussed by about 200 party faithful at the NZ First conference.

One member suggested the party should debate a flexible age of eligibility.

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- The Dominion Post

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