Govt has caused ‘incredible shift of wealth’ - CTU
Fri, 24 Aug 2012 6:08a.m.
The Government is being blamed for the widening gap between rich and poor in New Zealand.
The Ministry of Social Development’s latest household incomes report suggests that inequality is at its highest ever level as low incomes decrease while high incomes increase.
The Council of Trade Unions is pointing the finger at tax rates - changed by the National-led coalition - for the rising inequality.
“What the tax swindle did when the Government cut taxes to the highest income earners was massively translate income, there was this incredible shift of wealth and these figures show that it’s true, even though at the time the Government tried to deny it,” says president of the Council of Trade Unions Helen Kelly.
Ms Kelly says ordinary working people are being ignored by the Government, and the tax system needs rebalancing.
Greens co-leader Russel Norman says the report shows the incomes of mid-range families has fallen by three percent.
"It proves what the average mum and dad and their family have felt for a while - they are financially worse off under this government," he says.
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27/08/2012 11:25:43 p.m.
Why is is that, when the global economy is in freefall, and governments around the world are turning to austerity, John Key still refuses to acknowledge that his tax cuts are unsustainable?It is a testimony to the mans arrogance that he would rather hock off state assets than disappoint his well-heeled chums.
26/08/2012 9:56:48 p.m.
"More good news" !
26/08/2012 9:16:34 p.m.
@Chris - Some will argue that capitalists accrue vast amounts of money by paying workers a small proportion of the value that workers create through the expenditure of their labor, and seizing the rest for personal gain. A capitalist cannot legitimately accrue his vast amount of wealth without expending an impossible amount of Labor. It is the capitalists who are ultimately thieves. The work shy and apathetic aside, there are also people who cannot work at all due to sickness or disability, there are people who cannot get a job because they are deemed too old and a liability, and there are people who cannot get a job due to outright discrimination. Welcome to reality, Chris!
25/08/2012 8:45:57 a.m.
Shearer told Grey Power recently that he belives people on benefits 'rip the tax payer off when they are working and claiming a benefit at the same time'. Could not agree more. Good on you Shearer. Now you should get into the socialists you represent, you and Mallard, who blogged, 'its unfair to tax hard working Kiwis then give it to people who don't want to work' are showing your true colours. Excellent - there are some smart people in Labour after all. Shearer and Mallared welcome to the world of reality and capitalism where you actually have to work for your money. They know there is no free money tree as the socilaists believe.
25/08/2012 7:17:04 a.m.
What has happened to the price of food?Oh wait, thats around the same as a year ago. But to combat this rise in food - NOT! we need to have huge increases in benefits/min wage!Around 93% of NZ still eat out regularly. Of that about 1/2 haven't changed their eat out habbits, and the other half have chosen to eat out less, or eat out at cheaper places. Still 93% is most of NZ, and if you can afford to eat out regulaly, then your not hard up.What generates jobs is capital investment. Labour is all about spending up large to live now and forget the future as the following generations can be paying it forever. Bit like the runaway milionaires which discovered millions in their bank account, Labour runs govt the same way and blows money.Then there is the corruption, like Labour receiving finders fees from ACC/Kiwisaver investing in Maddoff. Why worry about sending profits overseas, when Labour will give our money to oversea criminals like Maddoff? $29 billion lost pre election 2008 because Labour was partial to a few dinners and a few finders fees.
24/08/2012 9:28:27 p.m.
Jim Seaview wrote:
QUOTE: "Ms Kelly says ordinary working people are being ignored by the Government, and the tax system needs rebalancing.Greens co-leader Russel Norman says the report shows the incomes of mid-range families has fallen by three percent."Could someone please inform president of the Council of Trade Unions Helen Kelly and the Greens co-leader Russel Norman that the "Trickle Down" theory has never worked so National are just experimenting with a new theory called the "Trickle Up" theory AND there is no doubt at this time of their success even if it was unintended which I doubt.As both the Trickle Down and the Trickle Up theories have never succeeded- what would be Labours and the Greens action plan be to narrow the widening gap between the rich and the poor. No Trick N Treat please!!
24/08/2012 8:52:01 p.m.
making claims about how the situation getting worse is Fine because everyone else is even Worse is just taking refuge in stupidity.
the only meaningful values are where we were, where we are, and where we will be. so long as the second is no worse than the first and the third no worse than the second, it is acceptable, though not ideal. the better the third compared to the second, the better we are doing. the better the second compared to the first, the better we have done. all else is irrelevant except in how it affects that. if the present is worse than the past and the future no better then the current methods are failing.
24/08/2012 12:48:08 p.m.
People are waking up to this poor excuse of a govt. Time they went. Sooner the better.
24/08/2012 12:10:02 p.m.
This is what overseas experts say about New Zealand.
The gap between New Zealand's rich and poor has widened more than in any other developed country during the past 20 years, according to an OECD report.
Figures from the Divided We Stand think-tank show the income of the richest 10 per cent of Kiwis is now more than 10 times that of the poorest 10 per cent.
This is up from a ratio of about six to one in the 1980s and higher than the average income gap in developed nations of nine to one.
The OECD says the main driver behind rising income gaps has been greater inequality in wages and salaries, as the high-skilled have benefited more from technological progress than the low-skilled.
It warned about the rise of the high earners in rich societies and the falling share of income going to those at the bottom, saying governments must move quickly to tackle inequality.
"This study dispels the assumptions that the benefits of economic growth will automatically trickle down to the disadvantaged and that greater inequality fosters greater social mobility," said OECD secretary-general Angel Gurraacía.
But the rise in part-time and low-paid work also extended the wage gap, the report said.
The main reason for the widening gap was that benefit levels fell in nearly all OECD countries, eligibility rules were tightened to contain spending on social protection, and transfers to the poorest failed to keep pace with earnings growth.
As a result, the benefit system in most countries had become less effective in reducing inequalities over the past 15 years.
Another factor had been a cut in top tax rates for high-earners.
And that was last year, prices are still increasing, wages arent, and working conditions are getting deploreable.
Is New Zealand being the most unequal society in the OECD something we should be proud of?.
Because really thats all John Key has created.
24/08/2012 10:26:09 a.m.
Getting tired of your twisted National Party propaganda. Ordinary people are suffering, while the rich get richer. Whatever the past, that is what is going on now and it needs to change. John Key is a fake, as more and more kiwis are finally realising. Good on Helen Kelly for standing up for ordinary people. Unions exist for a reason - and that is to stand up for ordinary workers against the self-interest of the rich few.
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