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

 

ANZASW response to Oxfam

The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) believes that research released by Oxfam this week highlights the need for urgent measures to be adopted to close the widening gap between the richest and least well off in our society.

The study, which revealed that the wealth of Aotearoa New Zealand’s two richest people grew by over a billion while that of the poorest 50% of society decreased by a similar figure, is yet another sign that, without fresh efforts to close the gap, the average New Zealander will continue to be failed by our economic system.

As social workers, we are well aware of the fact that inequality has dire social consequences, impacting not only the financial security of families / whānau and individuals, but health trends across society. As epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson has observed, unequal societies also tend to have higher crime rates, greater levels of debt and even shorter average life spans.

The Association agrees with Oxfam that new taxation models are the best policy response to these alarming trends, which generalise across much of the world. By abandoning the myth that trickle down economics will eventually benefit the whole of society and adopting a more realistic policy in which the very wealthy are asked to shoulder their fair share of the tax burden, we can begin to turn the situation around.

The Association believes that it is unconscionable that many small to medium sized businesses in Aotearoa New Zealand continue to pay more tax than powerful multinationals that operate on our soil and which pay their workers less than a living wage.

Luis Arevalo, member of ANZASW and an organiser for the Public Services Association (PSA), the country’s biggest union, told us that “The Oxfam report shows quite clearly that the current system of capitalism is only there to increase the wealth of the already obscenely wealthy while the vast majority of the world’s population continues to slide down the scale into obscurity.”

Reflecting on global inequality, which was also explored in the report, he added: “I absolutely agree that a progressive tax system is needed across the world, which should include what Oxfam has called a “1% wealth tax” which in turn “would raise an estimated $418bn (£325bn) a year – enough to educate every child not in school and provide healthcare that would prevent 3 million deaths.””

“Imagine the ripple effect this would have for generations to come if this was implemented and every one of those children were able to go to school?”

The Association hopes that the report will generate debate and concerted action by politicians, members of civil society and the wider public, hastening long overdue change.

ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Sustainable NZ Isn’t Self-Sustaining

Asking whether this new, environmentally focussed party can make the 5% MMP threshold may be the wrong question...

Its more achievable goal would be to knock the Greens below the 5% threshold, while along the way reviving all the ancient stereotypes about the centre-left being implacably hostile to rural New Zealand. More>>

 

Report On Consultation: Future Of Tomorrow's Schools

“The 1989 Tomorrow’s Schools reform introduced one of world’s most devolved schooling systems where each school operates largely in isolation of each other... It empowered local communities and modernised an overly bureaucratic system but also led over time to uneven outcomes between schools.” More>>

ALSO:

Queensland Fires: NZ Firefighters Helping Battle Blazes

Twenty-one New Zealand firefighters are departing for Australia to help fight the wild fires that have been raging in Queensland for the past nine weeks. More>>

ALSO:

In NZ:

Discussion Doc: 'Firearm Prohibition Orders' Power For Police

“In practice this may mean a person subject to a FPO could not live in or visit a property where firearms are held, even if the firearm owner is licensed. They could not be in a vehicle which is carrying a firearm. They could not go hunting even under supervision..." More>>

ALSO:

Police: Armed Response Team In Low Level Arrest, 'Preventative' Patrols

Police later said the stop was entirely appropriate, and resulted in the man being arrested without incident for "breaching conditions". More>>

ALSO:

Children's Commissioner Comment: Damning Oranga Tamariki Review Of Uplift Case

“The practice review released by Oranga Tamariki today is rigorous and robust. However, it describes a litany of failure at every step. It is a damning indictment of inadequate social work practice. Many social workers will welcome the light being shone on this case." More>>

ALSO:

Environment Commissioner: ‘Huge’ Data Gaps Undermine Stewardship

Environment Commissioner Simon Upton says ‘huge’ gaps in data and knowledge undermine our stewardship of the environment and is calling for concerted action to improve the system. More>>

  • Image via Out-Link - Focusing Aotearoa New Zealand’s environmental reporting system
  • Science Media Centre - Measuring changes to our environment – Expert Reaction
  • Local Govt NZ - LGNZ backs call for better environmental reporting
  • Environmental Defence Society - EDS endorses Commissioner for the Environment’s report
  • Federated Farmers - Environment data gaps no basis for current policy swings
  •  
     
     
     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

    • PARLIAMENT
    • POLITICS
    • REGIONAL
     
     

    InfoPages News Channels