John Key’s attempt to claim that inequality is flat in New Zealand would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says.
“John Key is yet again pulling the wool over Kiwis’ eyes. New Zealand is now a country where the gap between the wealthy and the less well-off grows wider every year.
“National cherry-picks statistics to back up its claims. The Perry Report that John Key cites excludes capital gains, which is a significant contribution to inequality in this country.
“The truth is in the 1980s New Zealand was in the best 30 per cent of the OECD for income inequality. Since then income inequality has got worse overall in the OECD and New Zealand’s downward trend has been even worse. We are now in the worst 40 per cent of countries for income inequality.
“The consequences of income inequality at these levels pile up every year. That’s why home ownership rates are dropping and child poverty is increasing.
“New Zealanders know that. John Key is telling the 75 per cent of New Zealanders who say the gaps are widening under his policies that they are wrong.
“Under this Budget those gaps while grow even wider.
“National’s pale imitations of some of Labour’s social policy ignore the reality that this rising inequality is caused by economic policies that National refuses to change.
“We need better paid jobs, lower power bills and more affordable housing.
“If John Key really wants to make a difference he should adopt our Economic Upgrade policies to create the better jobs and higher wages that New Zealand needs to become a more equal society, David Parker says.
16 May 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT