Immediate release 15th September 2017
Clear choices for voters are revealed in this election on policies that can share the income and wealth of our country more fairly. Parties that have committed to policies that are likely to make good progress towards greater equality are the Green Party, the Labour Party and the Māori Party. Meanwhile, while other parties’ policies are rated as unlikely to make progress or some even to have a negative impact.
This is according to a scorecard released today by the Equality Network, a group of New Zealand organisations united by the vision of a more equal Aotearoa New Zealand.
“Inequality, poverty and housing are top election issues and this scorecard is a way for people to see how the political parties shape up in responding to the clear wish for a better balance of income and wealth in this country,” says Paul Barber from the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services, that is part of the Equality Network.
The Equality Network has identified three immediate areas of action for any new Government after the election – lifting low incomes, better housing and fairer tax. As well as this, seven other areas for longer term commitments are covered, all of which will make for a better country where the resources are shared to the benefit of us all.
“It is exciting that these important social issues are so prominent in the public debate at this election and we hope that whatever the make-up of a new government is after the election, they will take immediate action quickly to make a difference,” says Paul Barber.
In the scorecard, parties’ policies have been assessed based on a combination of their ambition (how strongly they are committed to tackling inequality) and their plan (the level of detail they have for policies to reduce income and wealth imbalances) based on information published by the parties and summaries from independent election websites.
Policies were looked at that impact on the three immediate ambitions of the Equality Network:
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.
The seven other areas with longer term commitments to reduce inequalities were also considered as part of the scorecard. These include: full partnership between Māori and the Crown, a free healthcare system. increased education funding for free quality education, huge boosts to retraining and job skills programmes, collective bargaining laws, curbs on political donations and broadcasting that serves the public interest.
For more information you can find the policy scorecard and 2017 Election Statement on the Equality Network website http://www.equalitynetwork.org.nz/
View score card here.