Poll: most important problems facing New Zealand

A Roy Morgan poll on most important general issues facing New Zealand compared to the world shows that economic issues, inequality and housing are of most concern.

Most Important Problems Facing New Zealand and the World - February 2018

And the most important specific New Zealand issues compared to the world.

It’s not surprising to see economic issues so high, including inequality, and in New Zealand housing is also of major concern.

Interesting to see that New Zealand is significantly less concerned about environmental issues.

Perhaps this is why the Greens are so keen on advocating on social issues.

Source: Economic Issues dominate New Zealand concerns early in 2018

 

Inconclusive report on income/wealth gap

Oxfam are releasing a report today on the wealth gap in New Zealand. but it’s not clear what point they are trying to make.

RNZ: One percent of the population, 30 percent of the wealth

New Oxfam research shows the richest one percent of New Zealanders earned 28 percent of all the wealth created last year.

The research shows that the 1.4 million people who make up the poorest 30 percent of the population barely got one percent of the national growth in wealth.

The interview of Rachel le Mesurier didn’t really clear up confusion over income and wealth in the interview:

https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018628926/rich-poor-in-new-zealand-oxfam-report-shows-huge-wealth-gap

It’s worth listening to the interview to see how headline grabbing but vague this publicity is. Guyon Espiner asked le Mesurier what point they were trying to make and what solutions they were suggesting, but all she really did was intimate having a lot of wealth was bad and poor people were poor. She did talk vaguely about the tax working group doing something about things.

The charity’s executive director, Rachel le Mesurier, said the level of inequality in the past two years had remained the same.

“All around the world there has been a significant shift [of] wealth, particularly around property, and that’s something that many New Zealanders will be familiar with.

“In many cases … people have become wealthier with actually not having to work very hard for it … This is not fair, we should be rewarding work and not wealth.”

Ms le Mesurier told Morning Report the gap between the extremely rich and the rest of the population was unacceptable.

“The poorest proportion of our society really gained no extra benefit from that new wealth last year.”

“One of the reasons [the gap has increased] is property prices … but there are others.”

So forcing property prices down would close the ‘gap’, but how could it actually help poorer people?

Espiner asked her what would change if the wealth of the wealthiest New Zealander was redistributed and she diidn’t have much to say about it.

“We’ve got a tax working group. We’re very keen for New Zealand to have a conversation about tax – what is fair tax, what is balanced tax?

“A good number of [global] billionaires don’t necessarily work hard … Two-thirds of them have either been to build on their inheritance, they’ve actually got a monopoly.”

I’m not sure how the tax working group can recommend changes that will ensure those who work the hardest are taxed the least.