Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Poverty is falling and income inequality is not rising

Media Release

1st September 2014

ACT Leader Dr. Jamie Whyte

The Left is wrong: poverty is falling and income inequality is not rising

“A Roy Morgan poll shows that the issue people are most concerned about is income inequality. This just goes to show how the persistent repetition of a lie bewilders the public. Income inequality is not in fact rising. And the child poverty rate has been declining for nearly 20 years, falling from 35% in 1994 to 16% in 2007 and recently returning to pre-global financial crisis levels in 2012” said Dr Whyte.

“Those who advocate socialism have exploited the public’s concern about a rising number of people being trapped into a cycle of dependency. The Left’s repeated claims that New Zealand is getting more unequal are simply false and divert attention from policies that would help people out of dependency.

“Prior to the recent recession, there were 15 years of steady growth in median household incomes driven, in part, by the steady increase in the number of two-parent households where both parents are in paid employment (3% pa).

Figure 1: Real household income trends before housing costs (BHC) and after housing costs (AHC), 1982 to 2013 ($2013)


Source: Bryan Perry, Household incomes in New Zealand: Trends in indicators of inequality and hardship 1982 to 2013. Ministry of Social Development (July 2014).

“The net income gains from the mid-1990s to 2013 were similar for all income groups, so income inequality in 2013 was also similar to the mid-1990s” said Dr Whyte.

Figure 2: Real household incomes (BHC), changes for top of income deciles, 1994 to 2013


Source: (Perry 2014).

“The Gini coefficient – the most common measure of inequality – shows no evidence of a rise in income inequality since the mid-1990s. The trend-line is almost flat.

Figure 3: Gini coefficient New Zealand 1980-2015


Source: (Perry 2014).

“The Top 1% of income earners in New Zealand earn such a modest share of total earnings that the Occupy movement is left with nothing to protest about. The incomes of NZ’s top 1% of earners make up 8-9% of total incomes, as they have since the mid-1990s. It was only in the USA were the share of the top 1% continued to rise strongly, from 13% to 19%. New Zealand’s top 1% is performing so poorly that even the Swedish top 1% is set to overtake it”, said Dr Whyte

Figure 4: Top 1% income shares, USA, New Zealand and Sweden, 1970-2012


Source: The World Top Income Database at http://topincomes.g-mond.parisschoolofeconomics.eu/#Database

“Reducing inequality would not help to reduce poverty. The causes of poverty are complex but failure to get an education is one. Our one-size-fits-all education system has failed children from deprived homes for many years. Charter schools have successfully lifted educational achievement for children in poverty in many countries. Yet the political left is against this ladder,” said Dr Whyte.

“Who doubts that if New Zealand had its own Bill Gates, the country would be both more unequal and more prosperous? We need policies that encourage hard work, enterprise and success. ACT is the only party advocating such policies.

“The last time there was a significant increase in income inequality was in the early 1990s and this spike in inequality was immediately followed by a 15 year long economic boom” said Dr Whyte.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Greens: Russel Norman To Stand Down As Co-Leader

Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party’s Annual General Meeting in May. Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM.

“After nearly a decade as Co-leader, now is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family” said Dr Norman.

“This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change. Now is a good time for new leadership for the Party. My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017." More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point… More>>

ALSO:

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news