Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

We Are Not All In This Together, And That Must Change

The Public Service Association says New Zealanders should be ashamed by poverty and extreme inequality around us, and with election campaigning now formally underway the union urges politicians to make bold policy proposals that address the crises plaguing our communities.

UNICEF recently ranked 41 wealthy nations based on child wellbeing, and the aid organisation assigned New Zealand a painful 35th place. The PSA says this aligns with information provided by its own members.

"Tens of thousands of PSA members work in government agencies desperately trying to mitigate the worst symptoms of New Zealand’s poverty and inequality crisis. We welcomed the Labour-led government’s investments in housing and healthcare, but the government that forms after October 17 must do more and do it better," says PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk.

"It’s gut-wrenchingly clear the old ways of doing things have failed us, and governments must do more than tinker around the edges. We are campaigning in this election for politicians to sign up to the Aotearoa Wellbeing Commitment, and we believe they should be judged by how well their policies compare to its proposals."

Surveys of PSA members conducted prior to Covid-19 make for difficult reading. Two thirds of Auckland-based respondents say the housing crisis negatively affects them, with almost sixty percent considering leaving the city.

In many regions a significant majority of PSA members who rent say they spend most of their income on housing, with a staggering 84% of Wellington respondents trapped in such circumstances.

In more recent months the PSA brought together academics and policy experts to prepare papers and discuss possible futures for this country. Their research suggests life has deteriorated and will likely continue to worsen for many New Zealanders.

Previous pandemics created or worsened income inequality. Economists fear sixty-six percent of Māori workers will be negatively affected by Covid-19, and 72% of youth work in industries and occupations adversely affected by lockdown and the pandemic response.

Available data suggests the wealthiest one percent possess almost seventy times as much wealth as a typical New Zealander, and the PSA says it is time for urgent action on inequality.

The union supports calls to raise taxes on the rich, with a new rate of 50% on every dollar earned after $150,000 and an annual wealth tax targeting millionaires.

Half of New Zealanders agree the rich should pay more, and the PSA endorses such an increase in order to fund universal basic services such as healthcare, housing and the full implementation of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group’s recommendations.

"Sometimes bad policies and bad ways of thinking become entrenched over time, to the point where some people can’t imagine things being different. Not all New Zealanders are playing by the same set of rules," says Ms Polaczuk.

"If the rules are unfair for ordinary working people, if they allow a tiny minority to become obscenely rich while entire communities struggle to pay rent, we say those rules should be rewritten. We encourage New Zealanders to check out the Aotearoa Wellbeing Commitment’s proposals, and to vote for politicians who will commit to ensuring better outcomes for all."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On That $4 Billion Hit To National’s Economic Cred

National released its economic and tax policy last Friday. Weirdly, the plan was announced right at the end of the news week, when whatever impact it managed to generate would be likely to dissipate over the weekend. Well…. that now seems all for the best. The plan is now known to have a $4 billion hole in it. Apparently, National used outdated figures for the amount it stood to save from NOT paying into the Super Fund. Amusingly, the $4 billion mistake was almost exactly the same size as the $4.7 million that National still promises to give away in tax cuts... More>>

 

PM: Auckland At Bolstered Level 2, Rest Of Country Provisionally At Level 1

Pandemic alert levels for the whole country have been reviewed by Cabinet and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is announcing whether restrictions will be eased. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Supporting Workers And Valuing Their Contribution

Making sure working New Zealanders are safe, healthy and that their contribution to the economy is valued is at the heart of Labour’s Workplace Relations Policy.
“This is Labour demonstrating its commitment to helping working New Zealanders by increasing sick leave, raising wages, protecting them while they are at work, growing jobs and investing in the economy,”... More>>

ALSO:

PREFU: Economy Doing Better Than Forecast

The Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update released today shows that the near-term economic recovery has been stronger than the Treasury and many economists predicted at the May Budget, as the economy bounced back strongly out of lockdown... More>>

ALSO:


PM Statement: Cabinet COVID-19 Alert Level Review

Takiri mai te ata, ka ao, ka ao, ka awatea, tihei mauriora! Tātou katoa ngā iwi o Aotearoa, tēnā koutou! Tēnā tātou e whakanuia ana i te wiki nei, te wiki o te reo Māori Greeting to you all from Otepoti, Dunedin. This week is the Māori ... More>>

ALSO:


Electoral Commission: Candidate And Party Lists Released

17 registered political parties and 677 candidates will be contesting the 2020 General Election Nominations have now closed and the Electoral Commission has released the electorate and party list candidates for 2020 online at vote.nz . Advance voting ... More>>

National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>

ALSO:

NZ First: Party List

New Zealand First has a proven twenty-seven-year history of bringing balance and common sense to our government. Amid the continued setbacks of COVID-19 restrictions, New Zealand First has once again sustained its profile by selecting a strong team ... More>>

Election: Arriving Travellers In Isolation To Be Able To Vote By Telephone

Up to 5,000 people in managed isolation or quarantine will be able to vote by telephone in the general election and referendums after an amendment to electoral regulations last week. Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright says the Electoral Commission sought ... More>>

National: Investing In Our Children’s Future

A National Government will prioritise lifting achievement for all New Zealand children, no matter their background or ability, National Party Leader Judith Collins and National’s Education spokesperson Nicola Willis say. “Parents just want what’s best for ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels