Wealth disparities should make inequality reduction a priority in the budget

“The government’s budget, due later this month, must address New Zealand’s chronic wealth gap” said Peter Malcolm, spokesperson for the income inequality project, Closing the Gap.

A new report, ‘Wealth Disparities in New Zealand: Final Report’ shows that 60 percent of New Zealanders have less than $10,000 in cash savings. Whereas the richest 10 percent control $436 billion of the country’s net wealth.

Produced by the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies at Victoria University, the report goes on to say that, on average, people who are poor today will still be poor in 20 years time. Wealth tends to remain with the few who control it, and does not trickle down to create wider prosperity.

“The reverse is more likely. Without policy changes to raise taxes on the rich, boost the minimum wage and tackle the housing crisis, this wealth gap will only grow deeper and wider,” Mr. Malcolm said.

“How many reports do we need before this government — and parties vying to become the government — make a commitment to fighting for an egalitarian society?”

“If the government really wants to cut taxes, as they have said, we suggest cuts specifically for the people identified in this report as having less than $10,000 in cash assets. In contrast to the asset-laden rich, the report shows that the poorest 10 percent in this country are indebted to the tune of $7.8 billion, and have little hope of easing that debt burden. “

Reference: The report is available here.

For further information, contact Peter Malcolm
phone 07 5524809 mobile 022 3086982
Email [email protected]

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