Fluff and a Jab | The Jackal

15 Jun 2011

Fluff and a Jab

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei asked some very important questions of John Key in Parliament today. Once again, the Prime Minister wasn't there so Bill English tried to answer for the absentee leader.

In one particular answer given by the flailing Bill English, he said that the Government was helping to reduce the huge divide between rich and poor ie disparity by improving immunisation and the Green’s inspired home insulation scheme. He must be joking!

National totally fails to understand that immunisation and home insulation doesn't help the some 20% of New Zealand children living in poverty much at all. Their "plan" doesn’t help the 19% of young Kiwi parents who are unable to pay their electricity bills. Insulation isn't much good if you can't afford to purchase electricity to heat your home, if you are able to afford the exorbitant rent to begin with.

National's plan doesn’t help the 38% of families postponing or indefinitely putting off visits to the dentist for their children, which has led to this countries atrocious oral health. While the two things Bill English mentioned are commendable in their own right, they don't help to ensure children are getting the basics like proper food and shelter. On the contrary, National's policies have made the divide between rich and poor far greater than ever before.

Just in case you weren't already aware, welfare dependency has increased dramatically under this National led government. Not to mention our poverty levels. 1 in 5 New Zealand children currently live in poverty due to the policies of successive New Zealand governments. This is an unacceptable figure considering the extreme wealth held by a few elitists in this country.

What National fails to comprehend is that increasing GST and the cost of living while reducing welfare and real wages hurts... adding a few numbers to the bank accounts of the already wealthy means nothing in the real world, it helps a few people to be even richer while many more go without. That's not the kind of New Zealand I want to live in.

The most rapid rises in income inequality occurred between the late 1980s and early 1990s. Using both the before and after Housing Cost measures, the Gini Coefficient declined slightly between 2001-2007, a decline which is attributed to the impact of Labours Working for Families Package. Income inequality again started to rise between 2007-2009. National will gut WFF if they get a second term in Government, mark my words.

Income Inequality in New Zealand: Gini Coefficient for 1984-2009.
According to social researchers, the gap between rich and poor can lead to a raft of societal problems. National's answer to the causative effects from impoverishment and disparity is equally pathetic! Build more jails to subdue the resentment. What kind of answer is that?

Likewise they have no answer to the fact that it takes 5.3 times the average annual salary to pay for a house in this country, putting home ownership out of reach for most New Zealander's. We're tenants in our own country, or worse yet incarcerated. That's the Governments answer to the social dysfunction they've created in the first place... further repression of the masses.

Bill English goes on to say that the huge difference between the rich and poor of New Zealand can be attributed to a few farmers owning multimillion dollar farms. What a load of rubbish! Most large farms are owned by organisations. Besides, New Zealander's haven't purchased more farms recently to push up the United Nations rating.

Like many right wing nut jobs he chooses to try to deny that there's a significant problem. Blaming the increase in disparity on a few rich farmers (who pay on average less tax than a retired couple) is not acceptable. How the hell are we going to find solutions when our supposed leaders don't even acknowledge that there's a problem?

The United Nations found that New Zealand is one of the worst performers in the developed world when it comes to the income gap between rich and poor. So what is National's plan to fix the underlying poverty that destroys many peoples families and lives in this country? Bill English says "insulating some houses and immunisation." National's plan is pathetic at best and will utterly fail to rectify what is a significant problem for New Zealand. But what else is new?