Real cost of living reveals unbalanced NZ economy

The rising cost of living is hitting people who earn modest incomes and beneficiaries hardest, the Green Party said today.

Living costs for beneficiaries and low-spending households rose more than twice as much as for high-spending households in 2016, according to Statistics NZ’s Household Living Costs Price Index data.

“Bill English says the economy is humming along nicely but the truth is that while people at the top might be doing well, thousands of families on lower incomes are feeling the squeeze,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“The rewards of a growing economy aren’t being shared fairly and that shows how unbalanced our economy has become.

“We’re talking about people who are spending not much at all, trying their best to keep to budget and make ends meet, and they’re getting disproportionately hit by the rising cost of living.

“We need to put the economy back on track so that when the headline numbers are good, everyone notices that in their own wallet.

“Rising rents are really taking a toll on families’ finances. Fixing the housing crisis will go a long way to helping families afford a better quality of life.

“It’s a myth that rising rents just leave students with less beer money. More and more families are renting their home, either by choice or because they can’t afford to buy in National’s broken housing market.

“We can ensure working people get fairer pay by strengthening workplace rights, and we can level the playing field with a capital gains tax (excluding the family home),” Mr Shaw said.

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