The Financial Services Council (FSC) has today outlined its priorities ahead of the Budget announcement, asking the Government not to add fuel to the fire during a cost of living crisis.
FSC CEO Richard Klipin says “tomorrow’s Budget needs to balance both the short and long term needs of New Zealanders.”
“In the short term, we are hoping it addresses and supports Kiwis reeling from the cost of living crisis, evidence by record high inflation, rising interest rates and decreasing asset values. The Budget needs to support those who are doing it tough and not add further fuel to the fire.”
The FSC also emphasised a need to focus on mapping a pathway to longer-term financial outcomes and investing for the future.
“There are serious long-term issues that also need to be addressed, such as serious infrastructure deficits, healthcare, education, and growth and innovation of key industries,” continued Klipin.
In particular, there are two key policy areas that the FSC and its members are interested in: KiwiSaver and underinsurance.
“The latest research from our Financial Resilience Index indicates that 62% of Kiwis do not feel prepared for retirement, which is highly concerning. We’d like to start the process for a long-term, substantive review of KiwiSaver as a priority,” said Klipin.
“In addition, we believe a collaborative approach to addressing the key issues of underinsurance in New Zealand will help Kiwis manage risk in times of hardship, and we welcome dialogue and discussion on this issue with those across the political spectrum.”
Importantly, Klipin recognises that tomorrow’s Budget is an opportunity to do right by all New Zealanders.
“As an organisation with a vision to grow the financial confidence and wellbeing of New Zealanders, we see tomorrow’s ‘wellbeing Budget’ as a prime opportunity to move us on this journey,” he said.
“This is a landmark moment for New Zealand with multiple challenges and significant opportunities, and this Budget is important in setting New Zealand up for the future.”