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OECD Report highlights damage caused by National

Report highlights damage caused by National

Labour spokesperson for Social Development and Employment Ruth Dyson says the findings of the Growing Unequal? Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries Report, shows that poverty and inequality were at their worst under National.

"The report shows that National Party Policies directly increased poverty and income inequality," said Ruth Dyson.

"The most chilling aspect of the OECD Report is how clearly the policy of National had a detrimental effect on New Zealand with child poverty increasing, distribution of earnings widening by 22% and the real household incomes of lower and middle income groups falling while rich households saw their real incomes rise.

"The fear for many New Zealanders is that the same faces that were behind those disastrous policies, now stand behind John Key," said Ruth Dyson.

"National's policy is to cater to the wealthy few at the expense of the most vulnerable and this is clearly shown through their proposed tax cuts for the super wealthy, funded by raiding the savings of low income workers.

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria emphasised that education, boosting family income of those in work, and direct measures to tackle poverty including sensible investments in child care and parenting support are the best policies. All policies National voted against.

"If the OECD Report included income data after 2004, then we would see the real benefits of Labour Policies. By raising the minimum wage, providing support for childhood early education, the introduction of Working for Families, introducing paid parental leave and providing cheaper doctor visits, inequality has been dealt a savage blow," said Ruth Dyson.

"The Social Report 2008 showed that the gap between the rich and poor has narrowed for the first time since 1988. This recent data showed that the positive trend has increased significantly as the effects of Working for Families impacted with 130,000 children lifted out of poverty.

"The New Zealand public have a clear choice between policies which have failed and created income inequality and poverty, or a future for all of New Zealand," said Ruth Dyson.

Note to editor
The OECD Report does not analyse data after 2004 which would include a number of important changes, most notably Working For Families, so does not adequately show the improvements from 2004 to 2008.


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