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Risks due to income inequality in New Zealand

17 January 2014

Risks due to income inequality in New Zealand

New Zealand needs to take action on our growing inequality in light of the World Economic Forum’s 2014 report on global risk which identifies the chronic gap between the richest and poorest as the most likely cause of serious damage globally in the coming decade, said the Green Party today.

“We must fix income imbalances in New Zealand if we want to avoid the societal breakdown inequality can trigger,” said Green Party MP Jan Logie.

“Right wing economic policies have caused a massive increase in inequality in New Zealand. From the mid 1980s to the mid 2000s, the gap between the rich and the rest of us grew faster in New Zealand than in any other wealthy country.

“New Zealand had a proud history of being an egalitarian and relatively equal country. However that has changed and we now have big income gaps which are now acting as a barrier to most New Zealanders getting ahead.

“Inequality is an unnatural economic state. It is the result of politicians making choices that create imbalances that benefit a small number of wealthy people and hurt all the rest of.

“National is doing nothing to address income inequality in New Zealand. Their own forecasts show that despite predictions of strong economic growth wages are expected to rise by only one percent.

“The average New Zealand is not getting a fair return on improvements in the economy. The wealth is going to only a few, otherwise wage growth would be better.

“The Green Party will implement smart, compassionate economic and social policies that will make New Zealand a more equal country again.”

“We can take basic steps now like raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, encourage more employers to adopt a living wage and introducing a capital gains tax so that those who earn their income from non-wage sources pay their fair share,” said Ms Logie.

World Economic Forum Report: http://www.weforum.org/reports/global-risks-2014-report

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