BPS not the answer to inequality or families in trouble
Income Equality Aotearoa New Zealand Inc. - Closing the Gap
For Immediate Release Media Release
Thursday 11 May 2017
BUDGET PROMISES UNLIKELY TO DENT INEQUALITY
“The leaked Government line on social spending in this month’s budget is just another Band-Aid solution designed to defend the status quo”, said Peter Malcolm, spokesman for the income equality project Closing the Gap.
“The government needs to tackle tough structural problems like taxation head-on, not fiddle around the edges while the people burn”.
Earlier this month, the government flagged a $321 million social investment package. There are new Public Service targets and a focus on pregnant women and children, both of which are welcomed by the Group.
“But we are concerned that the fundamentals driving inequality and poverty will not be addressed in the coming budget,” Mr. Malcolm said.
“Finance Minister Steven Joyce has hinted at taxation tweaks to help middle and lower income earners. Actually, what we really need is a commitment to raise taxes on the wealthy,” he said.
“The bottom line is that poorer families need higher incomes, and the obvious source of that extra money is the people who have more than they need. Better public services do not put money in people’s pockets, and we need much bolder policies than the government is offering,” he said.
“Specifically, we need a steep progressive tax regime that targets the wealthiest, plus significant increases in the minimum wage and living-wage level benefits”.
Research done by the Morgan Foundation, and others, has already cast doubt on the effectiveness of the social investment package.
What is more, the Child Poverty Action Group has shown that Working for Families has been eroded so much that an extra $700 million a year is needed just to restore its original value.
“$321 million and a few tax tweaks will not accomplish the genuine change needed for desperate families reduced to living in cars”.
CPAG ON EROSION OF WORKING FOR FAMILIES:
MORGAN FOUNDATION RESEARCH: