Friday, August 29, 2014

Kiwis care about inequality

Inequality has emerged as the key issue in the election campaign:

The gap between rich and poor is by far the biggest issue facing New Zealand three weeks before election day, a new poll has found.

The Roy Morgan Research poll of 966 people in July and August shows that concerns about inequality and other social issues have increased dramatically as worries about jobs and the economy have waned in the past three years.

Almost a fifth of New Zealanders (18 per cent) now say poverty, the gap between rich and poor or the imbalance of wealth is now "the most important issue facing New Zealand", up from just 4 per cent in the equivalent poll just before the 2011 election.

So what's the government proposing to do about it? Nothing, except tease about more tax cuts to the rich. Meanwhile, both Labour and the Greens have credible policies to increase taxes on the rich, tax capital gains, and lift those at the bottom by increasing wages and social support. If inequality is the issue, then they deserve to win.