Poverty on the rise, income gap widening? Nope. Just a left mantra without a basis in fact

I have to admit, ACT are actually doing what the media should be doing – researching opposition claims and countering them with hard facts.  Try this one on for size:

“A Roy Morgan poll shows that the issue people are most concerned about is income inequality. This just goes to show how the persistent repetition of a lie bewilders the public. Income inequality is not in fact rising. And the child poverty rate has been declining for nearly 20 years, falling from 35% in 1994 to 16% in 2007 and recently returning to pre-global financial crisis levels in 2012” said Dr Whyte.

“Those who advocate socialism have exploited the public’s concern about a rising number of people being trapped into a cycle of dependency. The Left’s repeated claims that New Zealand is getting more unequal are simply false and divert attention from policies that would help people out of dependency.

“Prior to the recent recession, there were 15 years of steady growth in median household incomes driven, in part, by the steady increase in the number of two-parent households where both parents are in paid employment (3% pa).

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“The net income gains from the mid-1990s to 2013 were similar for all income groups, so income inequality in 2013 was also similar to the mid-1990s” said Dr Whyte.

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Before you gloss over, one more:

“The Gini coefficient – the most common measure of inequality – shows no evidence of a rise in income inequality since the mid-1990s. The trend-line is almost flat.

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“Reducing inequality would not help to reduce poverty.  The causes of poverty are complex but failure to get an education is one.  Our one-size-fits-all education system has failed children from deprived homes for many years.  Charter schools have successfully lifted educational achievement for children in poverty in many countries. Yet the political left is against this ladder,” said Dr Whyte.

“Who doubts that if New Zealand had its own Bill Gates, the country would be both more unequal and more prosperous?  We need policies that encourage hard work, enterprise and success. ACT is the only party advocating such policies.

 “The last time there was a significant increase in income inequality was in the early 1990s and this spike in inequality was immediately followed by a 15 year long economic boom” said Dr Whyte

This is essentially the same as what the David Parker and Bill English have been going on about during Question Time, but the damage is done.  Simply repeating the mantra of child poverty, income gap, rich getting richer and living wage, they have become ‘facts’ without any basis in truth.

Whyte makes a good point.   In reverse, to make New Zealand’s statistics better, all we have to do is ask the top 100 earners to move overseas.  Presto!  Income inequality just improved.

…does anyone actually feel the difference?

These statistical devices to drive politics are evil, and need to be exposed at every opportunity.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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