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 Sir Michael Cullen’s Tax Reform

To ordinary wage and salary earners who (a) watch a slice of their gross income being taxed every week via PAYE and who also (b) pay GST on every single thing they buy, there has been something quite surreal about the centre-right’s angry and anguished reactions to the Tax Working Group’s final report... More>>

 
 

89 Cents An Hour: Govt Plans Fix For Minimum Wage For People With Disabilities

IHC is delighted that the Government is looking into replacing the Minimum Wage Exemption (MWE) with a wage supplement to ensure people with disabilities are paid at least the minimum wage. More>>

ALSO:

Te Waihanga: New Independent Commission To Tackle Infrastructure Issues

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga – will be established as an Autonomous Crown Entity to carry out two broad functions – strategy and planning and procurement and delivery support. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Action Against Poverty: Motels Profit From Housing Crisis

A single motel which charges up to $1,500 per week per room has received over $3 million worth of Government funds to provide emergency assistance, despite never having a Code Compliance Certificate – an offence under the Building Act – and receiving a series of longstanding complaints from occupants... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Alleged China Relations Crisis

If New Zealand’s relations with China are ‘deteriorating’ then you still need a microscope to detect the signs... More>>

ALSO:

Environment: Government To End Tenure Review

“Tenure review has resulted in parcels of land being added to the conservation estate, but it has also resulted in more intensive farming and subdivision on the 353,000 ha of land which has been freeholded. This contributed to major landscape change and loss of habitat for native plants and animals,” said Eugenie Sage. More>>

ALSO:

Bell Tolls: Big Changes, Grand Mergers Planned For Vocational Training

“At a time when we’re facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke... More>>

ALSO:

Sallies' State Of The Nation: Progress Stalled In Reducing Inequality

The report shows a lack of tangible progress in key areas including record levels of household debt and a growing gap in educational achievement between poorer and more well off communities. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels