Superannuation and ideology : the search for an effective policy for the aged in New Zealand, 1974-1984
The development of a superannuation policy in New Zealand since 1970 has been the result of a search for effectiveness in an area of large Government spending on welfare. The positions developed by the two major political parties has been pragmatic dictated by economic concerns and by political moves. For the Labour Party the passage of the 1938 Social Security Act had, in part, achieved the historical goal of their movement. In the post war era this led to a pragmatic approach to welfare based on the prevailing economic and social conditions. This is also true of the National Party; it had adopted the conventional wisdom of social security in an age of consensus politics. In the last fifteen years the debate over welfare has been one over a search for efficiency in a time of economic trouble. The issue has been whether the accepted principles of social security are still applicable now: can the state continue to fund large scale and expensive welfare measures out of general revenue? In the light of current economic trends this does not appear possible, then again it would be impossible for the state to give up the concept of social security without threatening its very existence. The debate is about the role of the state in the life of the individual. Today that role is firmly entrenched in providing for the welfare of the citizen. At present there is still unanimity about the need to maintain and improve welfare provisions, but now the real argument is about the best way to achieve these objectives. The debate over superannuation has been about achieving an adequate standard of living for our elderly citizens. Whether this has been achieved is open to dispute. At present new views are being expressed over the efficacy of our existing provisions. It is a change of direction and a reassessment of ideas about the role of the state. The state must remain open and receptive to these ideas in the future to ensure that an equitable society is maintained.
Degree Name: Postgraduate Diploma in Arts
Degree Discipline: Political Studies
Research Type: Dissertation