Labour finance spokesman David Parker is delighted that the Labour conference has given him options in terms of the age of superannuation instead of constraining him. There have been moves to get rid of Labour's policy from last election to raise the age from 65 to 67 over time.

But a workshop at the conference adopted a resolution that is expected to be adopted by the conference, that does not reverse the rise to 67.

"It didn't stop us doing it and it didn't require us to do it," Mr Parker said.

"I'm very happy with that. I couldn't live with the 65. 'Thou shalt keep it at 65' is


In order to fund such a promise, GST would have to be increased to 17 per cent because within two years superannuation would cost more than the total cost of education.

The cost of superannuation had gone up form $8 billion to $11 billion in five years.

There were also challenges in funding health costs of an increasingly ageing population.

The position arrived at was also "important for Labour Party credibility."

Asked if he would have resigned as finance spokesman had the result bound him to stay with the age of 65, he said "I'm glad I didn't have to answer that question."

"It would have undermined me and Labour."

Mr Parker would not offer a view as to what Labour's actual policy will be next year.

The resolution passed today is expected to become part of Labour's new Policy Platform against which any future manifesto must be compatible.


The motion adopted was put up by the affiliated unions of the party and says: "Labour is committed to a system of universal superannuation. Labour will ensure the future sustainability of the system and will consider options to achieve this, including raising the age of eligibility. If this occurs, we will ensure that those who cannot work past 65 in their normal work and need the cover of superannuation will receive the equivalent of the superannuation payment from the age of 65."