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Government in denial over income inequality

Government in denial over income inequality

Today’s Household Incomes Report from MSD underscores National’s continued failure to recognise inequality is a problem and is getting worse, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says.

“The report shows income inequality has increased over the past year and remains higher than when National took office in 2008.

“National has repeatedly denied what most New Zealanders understand - that the gap between rich and poor is widening.

“That collective head-in-the-sand approach extends to the Prime Minister. He is so out of touch that he thinks the 75 per cent of Kiwis who say the gaps are widening are wrong.

“The Gini data used excludes capital gains on the likes of investment housing, which is also a significant contribution to inequality in this country.

“Inequality makes things worse for everyone, creating a dangerously unbalanced economy and slowing wage and jobs growth.

“New Zealand was among the best 30 per cent of the OECD for income inequality in the 1980s. While income inequality has got worse overall in the OECD since then, New Zealand’s downward trend has deteriorated even further.

“We are now among the worst 40 per cent of OECD countries for income inequality.

“The consequences of income inequality at these levels pile up every year; it’s why our home ownership rates have dropped to their lowest level in over 50 years and too many children live in poverty.

“Under National the gaps will keep widening. For a better New Zealand, we need well-paid jobs, lower power bills and more affordable housing,” David Parker said.

ends

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