The median (‘typical’) Kiwi income has fallen 6% under National after inflation. It’s worse if you’re Maori – 16%. And if you’re PI? 21%. That’s more than a hundred dollars a week. It’s a disgrace. In fact, ordinary people’s incomes have shrunk faster than the economy under National. Their policies have driven more of what’s left to the rich.
New Zealand Income Survey measures incomes every June Quarter. Median in 2008 was $536. Add 9% inflation, that’s $586 in today’s dollars. 2011 median is $550. That’s $36 a week worse off in buying power terms.
Have you felt it? Know I have. I’m actually luckier than most. Had a 5% increase since 2008. But I’m feeling that 4% real loss, eh? Can’t afford another three years of this.
It’s the poorest who are really getting it though. PI median in 2008 was $455, or $496 after inflation. Now, it’s $390 (unless you believe Bill English, who cries the survey must be broken). A hundred bucks a week less! How the hell do you get by with one out of every five dollars in your wallet gone? No wonder Parliament’s cleaners want a rise.
But their bosses and their class are sitting pretty. See GDP per person ‘only’ shrank by 3.6% from June 2008 to June 2011. If the typical Kiwi got 6% worse off and poor communities like PI got 21% worse off, that means someone else got better off.
Well, what do you know? NBR Rich List 2011 – NZ’s wealthy doing just fine– “After dipping slightly in 2010, the country’s wealthiest 151 individuals and families now have a combined wealth of a whopping $45.2 billion, up $7 billion on last year.”
You’re getting poorer not just because of this muddling government or peak oil. You’re getting poorer because, on top of those factors, you’re on the losing side in a class war. And the winning side’s party is the government, which is making sure to cut ever larger slices of the shrinking pie for their class. The only question is how long you will put up with it.