How to sell the message that income and wealth inequality in Aotearoa needs to be reduced
The focus must be on the key message ie the problem, inequality. Inequality is the gap between the rich and the poor. The increase in inequality in NZ over the last 35 years has happened because our politicians built an economy that delivered the bulk of its rewards to those who already had plenty and delivered an unfair proportion to those at the bottom ie the low waged and beneficiaries.
CPAG urges an immediate policy extension to allow all low-income families to have the full Working for Families support (i.e. making the In Work Tax Credit available to all families including recipients of benefits)
It would deliver at least another $72.50 a week to the very worst-off children in low-income families to help parents keep their children safe and well. The cost (around $450m) is about what could be saved from requiring superannuitants to opt-in to the winter energy payment. It would also accord with the principle of valuing the activities of caregiving and volunteering as work, greatly simplify child payments, and importantly reduce the worst child poverty in a highly cost-effective way
Online Election Forum September 16, 6pm. Hosted live at St Peter’s on Willis, Wellington.
As rising rent and housing costs hit and incomes take a dive, politicians will be challenged to deliver on the transformational agenda that has been promised to ensure that Aotearoa New Zealand is the best place to live in the world.
Anglican Movement has partnered with ActionStation, the Equality Network, Child Poverty Action Group and Tick for Kids to host an election forum for party candidates at St Peter’s on Willis, Wellington, September 16 at 6pm. The event will also be broadcast live online.
The focus of the event is to hear from party representatives about what they promise to do to ensure every individual and family has enough.
“Our communities are concerned about income and wealth inequality and how it’s hurting those with the least in our society,” said Kate Day of Anglican Movement. “Before everyone votes, we think it’s important to give people the chance to hear what each party proposes to do to close the gap between the rich and poor. We know this will be a deciding factor for many people.”
CPAG representative Dr Nikki Turner said they are deeply concerned that the economic fallout from COVID 19 will disproportionately affect families in poverty.
“Our baseline child poverty-related indicators are already unacceptable,” says Dr Turner. “So we wish to hear from each party as to how they can genuinely shift the paradigm to a focus on supporting those who are suffering the most severely”.
The Tick for Kids network has enlisted a diverse group of young people to be involved in the forum. These young people plan to engage the candidates with a live demonstration of New Zealand’s distribution of wealth.
“As a first time voter I’m excited about having a say on the future of our country,” said Norma Mclean, a Youth Caucus member. “I don’t think enough voters know how unfair the distribution of wealth is in New Zealand. It’s really important young people have a say. It’s our future at stake.”
Confirmed party representatives for the event are Marama Davidson, Co-Leader of the Green Party, and Geoff Simmons from The Opportunities Party. Other representatives will be announced shortly.
“We want to support and inform good decision-making at election time, so that we vote for people that are actually motivated to do something,” said Jo Spratt, Equality Network Convenor. “It’s policy that will make the difference and we want to see who’s committed to that policy.”
If Wellington is at Alert level 1, the event will proceed with limited seats at St Peters on Willis Street and by livestream on Facebook and Twitch. At level 2 only the politicians, media and those hosting the event will be in person. If we are at level 3 or above, everyone will be online.
On Tuesday 25 August at 4pm, we have our next webinar ‘Health equity and access to food’ by Dr Geoff Kira. COVID-19 has highlighted the gaps and the gold in the food system and Dr Geoff Kira will be discussing these within the context of sustainability and climate change.
Dr Geoff Kira is a Māori (Ngāpuhi) public health scientist from Massey University and specialises in translating health theory into useful community-based research. His discipline of health equity intervention investigates pragmatic methods of realising equity for disadvantaged communities.
Join us to hear from political leaders how their parties plan to deliver a thriving and equitable Aotearoa. Now more than ever, Covid-19 has shown us that we are dependent on each other and no matter where we come from, what we look like, or how much money we have, it’s time to pull together to demand decent homes, support and income for everyone.
But right now, the people with the least in Aotearoa are being left behind. Come listen to the political parties answer the demands of people living and working on the frontlines of housing, welfare and tax issues.
The political forum will go from 6 – 7.30pm, with doors open and refreshments served from 5.30pm. There will also be live entertainment
Palmerston North – 19 August 2020 – All Saints Church
Be informed and be heard! Tenants will share their stories and key candidates for the Palmerston North Electorate will speak to renters and answer the hard questions. Bought to you by the Manawatū Tenants’ Union and Manawatū People’s Radio. More information here.
ActionStation is currently conducting Welfare Tautoko, a six week programme where everyday people are trained to become powerful online advocates for a compassionate welfare system. This round of Welfare Tautoko starts on Tuesday 16th June and goes to Tuesday 21st July. Refer www.actionstation.co.nz for more details.
The PSA is holding a webinar with Victoria University’s Dr Geoff Bertram to discuss the ongoing effects of the 1980s reforms, and the disconnect between what elected governments want to achieve and what they can deliver on the ground. Wednesday 8th July 12:00-12:45pm Click here to register