Opinion: John Key's contention that he has too much on his plate to look at the retirement age makes him the Minister for Short-Term Thinking

Opinion: John Key's contention that he has too much on his plate to look at the retirement age makes him the Minister for Short-Term Thinking

By John Pagani*

"There's a lot of things on my plate I need to deal with in the here and now, rather than things in 2020 and beyond."

So said Prime Minister John Key on Breakfast yesterday when asked why he wouldn't look at raising the retirement age.

He may as well have said:

"Yes, I can't save for my retirement either, because I have a lot of things I need to worry about today, and with all due respect to my children, they are just going to have to look after me in retirement. I'm much to busy to have a vision for the future."

There are many good arguments against what the Retirement Commissioner wants. Being too busy to think about where New Zealand will be in ten years is not one of them.


* John Pagani is an independent political consultant and writer who has worked as an adviser to Labour Leader Phil Goff. He writes his own blog at Posterous.

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All politicians have short term thinking.

My crystal ball tells me that sometime after the Nov election a few things will happen, the Crafar farms will go to Chinese investors, Pike River mine sale will proceed with no guarantee of bodies being recovered and the reitirement age will appear on the agenda 

He really isn't and likely never has been a natural multitasker.  He's a simple "man's man" - a typecast money trader with a very narrow focus, and for good reason - it's part of the training/indoctrination.  JK's earlier career never equipped him for this job - and particularly not during such uncertain and difficult times.  I reckon he's a natural comedian/joker/funny bloke who will remember your wife's name ... you know the type... good at rote learning.  Never a visionary, nor a statesman, but always a politician.

The bike path really sums up the type of "I've been thinking" moment we can expect from JK - fuzzy wuzzy aspirational - let the good times roll kind of stuff.

And, it occurs to me that that quote of his should be headline news - but it isn't - also very interesting.