In the 2014 election year, we asked everyone, including our politicians, to recognise that the growing barriers between the rich and the rest are one of the biggest problems we face – and that urgent action is needed to break them down and ensure that everyone shares in New Zealand’s success.
The centrepiece of our campaign was the Inequality Policy Matrix. Our aims, agenda and campaign statements are available below.
- To persuade a majority of New Zealanders – and particularly politicians – that we must take major steps towards reducing inequality
- To increase public support for the statement, ‘More equal societies are better for all’
- To have all political parties clearly state their views on the above argument, and what if anything there are going to do about it”
- To get significant media coverage of the need to reduce inequality
Reasons for change
- Large income gaps are unfair: despite working harder, many people are being left behind
- Large income gaps lead to low trust and high stress, damaging people’s health and social bonds
- Low incomes make it hard for many families to play their part in society and in particular in the economy, weakening growth
- In a more equal society, we’re all better off, and the opportunity to succeed is open to all
An agenda for less inequality
1. Salaries. Significantly increase low pay, through a higher minimum wage, where possible a Living Wage, and stronger collective bargaining. Curb very high pay – where it is not justified by exceptional talent, hard work or contribution – through pay ratios and other means.
2. Tax and benefits. Create a more progressive tax system that taxes all income including the gains people make from selling houses. Ensure all people and companies pay their fair share of tax. Use these funds to ensure all New Zealanders can live with dignity by providing benefits that keep families above the poverty line. Consider implementing a universal basic income
3. Jobs. Make sure there are enough good quality jobs, with decent pay, security of employment and family-friendly hours
4. Education. Ensure there is an education system that gives everyone the skills they need to play their part in a high-productivity, high-paying workforce
5. Health. Make sure that everyone lives in a warm, healthy, affordable home, and that there are no income barriers to people getting the healthcare they need
6. Democracy. Improve participation in our democratic institutions by creating new ways for people to get involved, ensuring all government policies help to close income gaps, and developing measures of national progress that go beyond just GDP
Election campaign newsletters and press statements
- Six Weeks Six Wins | Week One: Wages and Salaries
- Template media release: Walk the talk to reduce the wage gap
- Six Weeks Six Wins | Week Two: Tax and Benefits
- Template media release: Robin Hood tax and other clever ways to help our kids
- Six Weeks Six Wins | Week Three: Jobs
- Template media release: A rock star economy requires rock star training, rock star R&D, rock star jobs… and rock stars
- Six Weeks Six Wins | Week Four: Education
- Template media release: Teachers aren’t magicians and we shouldn’t ask them to be
- Six Weeks Six Wins | Week Five: Health and Housing
- Template media release: Beyond September 20: Warm, dry, healthy and happy?