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Political parties asked for commitment to reduce inequality

Media release 3rd November 2011

Political parties asked for commitment to reducing income inequality

The NZ Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS) is inviting all Party leaders and political candidates to commit to building a fairer New Zealand by actively supporting policy measures that reduce income inequality and bring people closer together.

“The evidence shows that more equal societies – those with a narrower gap between rich and poor – are more connected, healthier, safer, suffer fewer social problems and are more environmentally sustainable,” says Trevor McGlinchey, Executive Officer of the NZCCSS.

Aotearoa New Zealand has seen the fastest growth of income inequality compared to other developed or wealthy countries in recent decades. The recent slight decrease cannot disguise the fact that income inequality remains high and we have gone from being one of the most equal to become one of the most unequal countries in the developed world. Growing inequality has been accompanied by growing overall poverty levels in New Zealand, which in turn has increased pressure on social services.

“In view of this evidence we are asking all Party Leaders to state whether or not they will encourage Party members to show their support to reduce income inequality by supporting debate around, and policies that support, narrowing the gap between rich and poor. We are also contacting all political candidates to invite them to sign up to our ‘Closer Together Whakatata Mai’ Choice,’ Trevor says.

In the lead up to Election Day, NZCCSS will be posting candidate sign-ups, Party Leader responses and Party positions on income inequality on www.closertogether.org.nz

ENDS

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