New data shows National’s two-track economy

The real cost of living has grown more for people on low incomes, beneficiaries, and superannuitants than it has for people on moderate and high incomes under National, the Green Party said today.

New data from Statistics NZ’s Household Living-costs Price Indexes shows the effect of rent and power bills rising faster than the general rate of inflation. Low-expenditure households have seen their living costs rise twice as much as high-expenditure households since 2008.

“National has built an economy where some people are getting hit much harder than others by rising living costs,” Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said.

“The economy’s not working unless it’s working for everyone, and under National it’s clearly not.

“Rising rents and power bills have disproportionately affected people on lower and fixed incomes.

“Home ownership is at its lowest level in 50 years and those same people who have been locked out of the housing market are having to deal with their living costs rising faster than everyone else.

“Interest rates have lowered costs for home-owners, while the housing crisis has seen rents shoot up for people who don’t own the house they live in.

“The effect of National’s 2010 GST rise is clear – it’s hit low income people harder because they spend comparatively more of their incomes on basics like power and food.

“National is fond of talking about overall economic growth but below the headlines we can see that wealth, income, and living costs aren’t being shared fairly.

“Fixing the housing crisis is the key to bringing living costs under control.

“The Government needs to build thousands more affordable houses, sell them only to New Zealand citizens and residents, and level the playing field with a capital gains tax (excluding the family home),” said Mr Shaw.

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