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The Budget must spread any gains around

The Budget must spread any gains around


Census data showing the income of people in wealthy suburbs is increasing, while those in poorer suburbs is falling well behind, should be a stark reminder of the need for tomorrow’s budget to benefit all New Zealanders, not just the privileged few, the Green Party says.

“Tomorrow’s budget must ensure that low and middle income kiwis share in any benefits from an economic recovery, and that they are not just reserved for those who are already well off,” Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei said.

“Auckland is a dramatic example of how the National Government is creating a city and a country of two halves.

The median income for someone in Otara North decreased by 17.8 % between 2006 and 2013, from $16,300 in 2006 to $ 13,400 in 2013, while the median income of people in St Heliers grew by 25 per cent from $38,600 to $48,500 in the same period.

“ A similar trend is echoed throughout poorer and richer suburbs in Auckland and the rest of New Zealand.

“These growing gaps are evidence that the National Government’s economic agenda is just not working for poorer families and less well-off communities.

“The children in communities like Otara can’t wait any longer. They need the Government to step in now to ensure they can get the same opportunities of a good life that the kids in St Heliers and Parnell get.

“Our economy and our society is out of whack and it will require brave Government intervention to get it back into some kind of balance.

“If there is a surplus tomorrow, it must not come at the cost of particular suburbs and particular groups of people, including Maori, who are just not getting ahead like others are,” Mrs Turei said.
Ends

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Gordon Campbell:
On First Time Voting (Centre Right)

For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

One guest columnist will be from the centre right, one from the centre left. Today’s column is from the centre right – by James Penn:

As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

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