Household incomes not keeping up with costs

Incomes are not keeping up with rising costs for kiwi households, the Green Party said today.

Statistics New Zealand released its Household Economic Survey today which found that, while household incomes have increased by 9.1 percent since June 30, 2012, household costs have increased more rapidly, rising 11.1 percent over the same period. The change in household fortunes was not shared evenly. The number of households receiving more than $123,300 annually rose by 14.7 percent (the highest quintile in 2012/13) while all other quintiles remained virtually unchanged.

“The National Government has lost sight of what really matters for most kiwis – raising incomes ahead of costs,” said Green Party social development spokesperson Jan Logie.

“Incomes are not keeping up with rising costs despite more people working and working longer hours.

“A staggering 41 percent of respondents in the Survey said that their income was just enough or not enough to meet their everyday needs.

“The Survey provides further evidence that National’s economy is working for only those at the top.

“The number of households in the top twenty percent of income grew rapidly by 14.7 percent over the last year.

“Meanwhile those in the middle income brackets stayed still or went backwards.

“Middle New Zealand is being squeezed by rising costs and a slow wage growth.

“New policies like extending the child payment to families on a benefit, raising the minimum wage progressively to $18 per hour by 2017, and removing tax free capital gains would leave families better off and make us a fairer, more equal society.”

Link to Household Economic Survey: