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Green Party research shows National backing the rich

23 May 2012

Green Party research shows National backing the rich

New research by the Green Party shows an ordinary working family could be more than $11,000 worse off this year due to budget changes made by the National Government, while high income earners are better off by tens of thousands.

A single mother, working part-time while retraining, could have lost a sixth of her income – nearly $6000 – due to policy changes that are entrenching inequality in New Zealand.

“This work shows that John Key’s idea of the typical ‘mum and dad’, who have spare cash left over to buy shares in our power companies, is a myth,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“In fact, ordinary families are struggling to keep up. On the eve of the Budget this is a stark reminder of who National is out to back – the rich.”

The research takes into account increase in GST, which is a disproportionate cost to lower income earners, and cuts to the top tax rates, which disproportionately benefit the wealthy.

“It was always obvious that the combination of those two changes was unfair on lower income families,” said Mrs Turei.

“But the full extent of the creep of those and other policies, like increases in the cost of early childhood education, increased student loan repayments, and cuts to the Training Incentive Allowance, show hard-working middle and low income earners can be massively hit in the pocket.”

Meanwhile, the research shows families in the top 10 percent income threshold are more than $12,000 a year better off under National.

“And on John Key’s prime ministerial salary, he would have an extra $19,000 to spend each year.

“The Green Party has plans to make New Zealand one of the most equal places in the world again. Lifting the minimum wage to $15 an hour is a crucial starting point.

“But this Government seems determined to keep us slipping further down the bottom of the OECD rankings for equality, by driving the gap between the haves and the have nots wider than ever.

“Our research doesn’t include the impact of other policy announcements around the budget, including further increases likely to the cost of early childhood education, increased prescription charges, and bigger class sizes, which will hurt struggling families more.

“This further shows just how out of touch with ordinary New Zealanders John Key really is,” said Mrs Turei.

Link to Green Party research on impact of Government budget changes

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