Today the Equality Network (EN) – a group of 37 members (including NZ Council of Christian Social Services) that are united against inequality, released an election statement. The statement outlines three key ideas for a fairer country, ideas that the EN believe should be enacted immediately.

These are:

  1. Income for all that provides the necessities of life through a Living Wage and fairer income support.
  2. A Government-funded house-building programme to help address the housing crisis and provide everyone with healthy, affordable homes with long-term tenure, and
  3.  A tax on very high levels of wealth and higher top tax rates on the highest incomes to ensure that everyone contributes their fair share and enables our families and whānau to thrive.

These key ideas, if enacted immediately, will help create a more equal New Zealand, one where everyone can pursue their dreams, a country where everyone has the resources they need to build a good life for their families and whānau, where income and wealth reflect fairness and balance.

Green Party co-leader Meteria Turei, and National Party MP and Chair of the Social Services Committee, Jo Hayes accepted the election statement from members of the Equality Network.

Speaking at the launch, Debbie Leyland from United Community Action Network Aotearoa NZ spoke of her experience living on a benefit and the importance of having enough income to afford to buy good quality food (like fresh fruit) and to look after her health. “I suffer from depression and anxiety. It’s very difficult but I’m at a level now where I’m well and I can maintain my life. But sometimes I can’t afford my medication, because I don’t have enough money, and then I become really unwell.”

Graham Robertson, from Closing The Gap, is a former president of Federated Farmers, retired farmer and philanthropist who supports higher taxation on wealth in order to create a more just and equitable society. He said, “Many of my friends and colleagues particularly those who are comfortably off are offended by the shortfall in government funding for children living in poverty and I am too. The task is too big for voluntary agencies to plug the gaps. We must face up to the fact that we who are better off should pay more tax. This will require a wider tax net, including capital taxes and some increase in tax on high incomes.”

Read the Election Statement 2017 here: [wpfilebase tag=file id=6692 tpl=’nzccss_pub_file’ /]

The Equality Network (EN) is a non-partisan organisation of 37 members dedicated to reducing poverty and inequality. Drawing on the growing body of evidence that shows more equal societies do better for their people, the Network was established in 2014. The EN seeks to improve the wellbeing of all citizens of Aotearoa New Zealand through a network of like-minded groups, by reducing the income inequalities that currently exist. |