For Immediate Release
Tuesday 15 August 2017
TIME TO TURN UP THE PRESSURE ON CANDIDATES
Polls are showing that inequality is a top voter concern (Roy-Morgan and UMR Polls). The income equality group Closing the Gap is urging New Zealanders to push parties and candidates hard on inequality in the last few weeks of the election campaign.
Spokesperson Peter Malcolm said New Zealanders see the harms around them every day — from homelessness to child poverty to teen suicide — and all of us need to make clear we want serious action from the next Government.
“At Closing the Gap, we’re really heartened by surveys showing how much New Zealanders care about inequality, and it’s clear to us that their concern is making a difference to party policies,” he said.
Mr Malcolm said some parties were coming up with some good initiatives around things like building more social housing and raising benefit levels, but voters needed to keep the pressure on.
“We need firm commitments to raise taxes on the rich — higher income taxes and wealth taxes — as well as to boost the pay of low income earners, who right now simply can’t earn enough to feed and house their families,” he said.
As researcher Max Rashbrooke told us, since the mid-1980s, the inflation-adjusted annual incomes of the poorest 10th of New Zealanders have increased by no more than $2,000 while those of the richest 10th of New Zealanders have increased by $60,000.
Growth has delivered inflation and hard times rather than prosperity to people at the bottom of the barrel. All of us bear the burden of that outcome, and that has to change. New Zealanders get it. We have to make sure every candidate running for office gets it, too.
Polling on issues:
Max Rashbrooke on Inequality: