New year, new chance to turn the inequality tide

This year is our chance to turn the tide on growing inequality in New Zealand with a change of government, the Green Party said today.

A report released this afternoon by Oxfam outlines the growing inequality gap around the world, and coincides with the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos. Oxfam New Zealand has released analysis of this afternoon’s report that shows two New Zealanders have more wealth than the poorest 30 per cent of the adult population.

“This National Government remains relaxed about tax avoidance by those with the means to get away with it, while more and more New Zealanders struggle to put food on the table and a roof over their heads,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“An obvious immediate solution to this growing inequality would be to more fairly tax wealth, rather than income, and use the revenue to better fund health, education and housing.  

“The Green Party in government will push for a comprehensive capital gains tax (excluding the family home), to ensure everyone is paying their fair share, and to discourage the kind of housing speculation that has led to many Kiwis being priced out of home ownership.

“The tax system that we currently have in New Zealand is moving us further and further away from each other. It is stopping us from being able to work together for a better society.

“Instead of trying to explain away this data with elaborate excuses, Bill English and Steven Joyce should focus on creating the inclusive society that New Zealanders want to live in.

“New Zealand can, and should, be a place where everyone gets the chances they need to succeed, and where we are all able to work together to create a great country.

“Inequality stalls growth, pits us against each other and devalues the hard work of many New Zealanders.

“A more divided and unequal society is not good for any of us,” said Mr Shaw. 

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