Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Inequality won’t lead to economic prosperity

30 November 2009

Inequality won’t lead to economic prosperity

Revisiting the disastrous policies of the 80s and 90s will lead to increased inequality and environmental damage, and will not put New Zealand on the road to long-term economic prosperity, Green Party Co-Leader Russel Norman said today.

Dr Norman was responding to the release of the Government’s 2025 Taskforce report.

“The Taskforce’s policy recipe would widen the growing gaps in our own society between the rich and the poor,” said Dr Norman. “It’s a recipe for inequality, and inequality is bad for the economy.”

The 2025 Taskforce recommends flattening income taxes by reducing the top level of tax to 20%. The resulting $7-8 billion shortfall in government revenues would be addressed by cuts to Working for Families, privatising large parts of the health and education sectors, the sale of state assets, and raising the age of eligibility for New Zealand Superannuation.

“For this kind of economic analysis to be credible, it needs to also consider the costs associated with the policies of inequality. Regressive tax cuts funded by cuts to social programs will widen the gap between the rich and the poor which leads to huge social costs,” Dr Norman said.

“Almost every modern social problem — ill-health, violence, drugs, obesity, mental illness, long working hours, big prison populations — is more likely to occur in a less equal society. These problems affect us all acting as a drag on economic development.”

The Taskforce report also renewed the attack on our natural environment, advocating for the exploitation of mineral resources even if this occurs in National Parks or risks endangering native species.

“The National Government is already ahead of the Taskforce on this matter with its plans to mine in our most protected conservation land. The economic value of degrading our natural environment is another cost not recognised by the report. For example, rivers polluted by mining operations in sensitive natural environments will inevitably burden future generations with the costs of cleaning them up.”

The Taskforce also recommends further weakening the Resource Management Act — our primary democratic tool for protecting the environment from short-term exploitation. Protected green space in our towns and cities would also be opened up for development if the report’s guidelines were to be implemented.

“This report makes the unthinkable possible, even if National only follows the Taskforce’s findings in part. It’s clever politics by the National-led Government, to use keeping-up-with-the-Jones’ as an excuse to implement a radical right wing agenda,” Dr Norman said.

Link to the 2025 Taskforce Report:


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Campbell on: the local body election result in Wellington

For obvious reasons, politics is more of a big deal in the capital city than anywhere else in the country. Even so, fewer than four in ten eligible voters bothered to vote in Saturday’s local body elections in Wellington (turnout 39.66%).

Even less was felt to be at stake this time around than in 2016, when 45% of the electorate voted Justin Lester into the mayoralty.

To put it mildly, the Lester-led Council failed to live up to expectations. Lester will be remembered mainly for the fact that somehow, he managed to lose this election. . More>>


Could Do Better: Post-Sroubek Review Of Deportation Info

Ms Tremain acknowledges that the review highlighted some aspects of the process that can be improved and makes five main recommendations to strengthen the existing processes for preparing files for decision-makers. Those recommendations are: More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A New Book On The Leaky Homes Scandal

We all know that journalism is short of cash and under pressure from the speed, brevity and clickbait pressures of the 24/7 news cycle… but hey, given the right subject and a sufficiently stubborn journalist, it can still surpass most of the works of the academic historians... More>>

Regulation: Review Finds NZTA Road Safety Failings

The independent review, carried out by consultant agency MartinJenkins, lists at least 10 reasons for the failures including the agency being focused on customer service at the expense of its policing functions. More>>


Rod Carr: Climate Change Commission Chair-Designate Announced

Climate Change Minister James Shaw has today announced the appointment of Dr Rod Carr as Chair-designate for the Climate Change Commission. More>>


Compliance Complaints: 'Putting Right' Holidays Act Underpayment In Health

The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark. More>>


IPCA: Disasterous Police Pursuit, Excessive Use Of Dogs

At no stage did Police follow the correct procedure for the commencement of a pursuit... A Police dog handler used his dog to help with the arrest of two of the young people. One suffered injuries resulting in his hospitalisation, and the Authority found that the use of the dog was an excessive use of force. More>>


‘Hard Place To Be Happy’: Report On Youth Residential Care

Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft says the report, A Hard Place to be Happy, contains important challenges from children and young people, aged 9 to 17, about their experiences in care and protection residences. “I found this report extremely difficult to read, and I think most New Zealanders would too.” More>>

Africa And Middle East Refugees: 'Family Link' Restriction Removed

The founder of the Double the Quota campaign has applauded the coalition government for Friday’s announcement that a discriminatory policy would be removed. More>>





InfoPages News Channels