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New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows

23 August 2012

New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows

New research from the Ministry of Social Development research has delivered a damning assessment of the Government’s economic management, showing that middle income families are now significantly worse off, and inequality at a record high, said the Green Party.

The Household Incomes in New Zealand: Trends in Indicators of Inequality and Hardship 1982 to 2011 report shows; that incomes for middle income New Zealanders fell, only the wealthiest saw their incomes rise and that inequality is at its highest levels ever.

“This report proves what the average ‘mum and dad’ and their family has felt for a while, they are financially worse off under this government,” said Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman.

“Middle New Zealand is being ground down by Government policy, with their incomes falling by three percent, while tax cuts for the well-off have seen those at the top do better.

“It is deeply concerning that our society has never been as unequal as it is today. The Government should be acting to reduce inequality, not growing it.

“The report also shows that sixty percent of children in poverty are in chronic poverty, meaning they don’t move in and out of poverty as Paula Bennett inaccurately claims.

“John Key paraded the previous version of this report in Parliament saying it was is the most comprehensive study on inequality. He now needs to heed its findings.

“John Key has said he thinks New Zealand is ‘pretty equal’ compared to other countries, and that the gap between the rich and the poor was narrowing, but this report shows he’s wrong.

“Government policy is driving the deterioration in low and middle income New Zealand families, while only the richest few are doing well.

“New policies like extending the child payment to families on a benefit, raising the minimum wage to a living wage and taxing capital gains would help families and make us a more equal society.”

Link to the report:


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