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New Book Prompts Call for Action On Inequality Crisis

26 June 2013

New Book Prompts Call for Action On Inequality Crisis

Closing the Gap, a national organisation committed to reducing income inequality in New Zealand, has welcomed a new book on inequality, to be launched tomorrow in Wellington.

Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis was edited by Wellington-based journalist, Max Rashbrooke. A range of authors have contributed chapters, led by Professor Jonathon Boston.

“The book reveals the truth about inequality in New Zealand,” said Peter Malcolm, Secretary of Closing the Gap.

“The book shows clearly that over the last 30 years New Zealand has gone from being one of the world’s most equal societies to one of the most unequal.”

Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis includes statistics showing that the richest 10% are achieving significant income increases, with increases for the top 1% even higher, while the middle 10% are seeing very little increase and the bottom 10% none.

“This book is a timely addition to the work of British Health researchers Wilkinson and Pickett, Sir Michael Marmott, the New Economics Foundation historian Tony Judt, economist Joseph Stiglitz and others, which demonstrates beyond doubt that income inequality is causally related to many of society’s social ills,” said Peter Malcolm.

“New Zealand does not fare well across a range of measures of the impacts of inequality on society and we need to ask when will we seriously tackle this important issue.”

Peter Malcolm said there were many strategies which could make a difference.

“A fair comprehensive progressive tax system, caps on top salaries and a decent living income for all would significantly reduce the income gap and consequently improve many social conditions making New Zealand a better place for us all,” he said.

ENDS

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