Presentation on theme: "30 years of income inequality Why is high inequality a problem?"— Presentation transcript:
30 years of income inequality
Why is high inequality a problem?
The five corrosions of inequality Health and wellbeing Social cohesion Politics Opportunity Economics
Effects of inequality 285,000 or 27% of our children live in poverty Third-world levels of infectious diseases Long tail of educational underachievement Increased mental health troubles Low social mobility
Getting by on $14.80/hour Homecare worker Tamara Baddeley’s budget Much worse for those on benefits… IncomeWeekly Pay (after tax)$490 Expenses Rent$200 Phone$25 Power/gas$25 Car running costs$25 Life insurance$15 Petrol$50 Supermarket shop$75 Milk, bread etc$15 Cellphone$10 Total$440 For everything else$50
Money-empathy gap High imprisonment rates Growing ‘us & them’ ethos
So what can we do about it?
But… the national mood is changing Poverty & the gap between rich and poor now most often named as New Zealand’s biggest problem Three quarters of people believe the gap between rich and poor has grown and that is a bad thing
A kairos moment Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. Pope Francis
What can we do together? Build a community for change Join forces Widen the debate
What the government can do Adopt more socially just policies, focusing on lowest incomes: Universal child benefit Invest in good, well-paid jobs Lift minimum wage Broad-based fairer tax system
A fairer, broad-based tax system Financial transactions ‘Robin Hood’ tax High income tax bracket from $150,000 Capital gains tax Wealth taxes
What your organisation can do Host a meeting and invite us to speak to your group about inequality Encourage your staff, clients or members to vote Join the Living Wage campaign Commit to a maximum high to low pay ratio (e.g. Wagemark’s 8:1)
What you can do Join the conversation facebook.com/closertogethernz Get informed closertogether.org.nz Talk with your networks Write letters – MPs, newspapers & magazines Support local initiatives that reduce inequality
Closer Together Toolkit Video talk by Max Rashbrooke Posters – for your workplace, church, community Fold-out flyer summarising the issues Powerpoint presentation How to write to MPs, newspapers, magazines Vote – How to Enrol & Why Book – The Inequality Debate