web analytics

MSD household incomes report

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 am, August 18th, 2015 - 7 comments
Categories: equality, labour, national, poverty - Tags: , , , , ,

While we devote acres of pixels to flag distractions and “celebrity” nonsense, the health of the nation goes largely unremarked. Was there any MSM coverage of the latest Ministry of Social Development report – Household Incomes in New Zealand: trends in indicators of inequality and hardship 1982 to 2014?

It’s a rich and complex document. While left and right could quote from it to support their views (things are getting worse vs. everything is fine), the left has the stronger case. Author and poverty campaigner Max Rashbrooke summarises some highlights:

KEY POINTS FROM THE 2015 HOUSEHOLD INCOMES REPORT

Inequality

On most measures, income inequality is either at the highest level it has been since records began in 1982, or is very close to that level. It has also risen sharply in both the last two years.

The government generally claimGini coefficient 2015s that inequality is not increasing. The Household Incomes Report, which is quite rightly cautious, continues to say there is no “conclusive” evidence of rising inequality. But as the graph (at left) of the Gini coefficient shows (in which 0 is perfect equality and 100 is perfect inequality), it is starting to look like an upward trend, and the Report says that one more year of data at this level will be enough for it to conclude that inequality is indeed rising.

Poverty

When housing costs are taken into account, the above trends and figures are roughly the same [roughly flat], with the difference that the under 50% rate has gone from 13% in 2009 to 15% in 2014, indicating that housing costs make the biggest difference among the very poorest, and are increasing. After housing cost poverty is roughly double its 1980s level, again pointing to housing’s growing role.

Child poverty

There are many different measures for child poverty, as the table below shows. However, the overall trend is for an increase in child poverty of somewhere between 10,000 and 45,000 children since 2009.

Reading the original report one thing that comes through strongly is the significant impact of the policies of the last Labour government, particularly Working for Families (which Key called “communism by stealth”):

On this measure, the population poverty rate more than doubled in a very short period from the late 1980s to early 1990s, reflecting rising unemployment, demographic changes (more sole parent families) and the 1991 benefit cuts. It then steadily fell through to 2007 with improving employment, the introduction of income-related rents and Working for Families. This means that the AHC incomes of many low-income households were rising in real terms from the mid-1990s to 2007.

Policy changes (eg policy changes around benefit rates, income-related rents, the AS [Accommodation Supplement] and WFF [Working For Families] all had clear impacts on the child poverty rates for children from working and workless households, and on the relativities between the two groups).

The Working for Families (WFF) package, progressively introduced from 2004 to 2007, put an additional $1.6b per annum mainly into low- to middle-income families once fully implemented. Although a little of the new money went to families at or above the median, the bulk went to families below the median and especially to those well below it. The shape of the bottom end of the income distribution was changed by the WFF package, and child poverty rates were reduced from 2004 to 2007 as a result, even on moving line measures.

From 2004 to 2007, the poverty rate fell strongly from 19% to 13% – the WFF impact.

National could have built on those trends and continued bringing poverty down. They chose tax cuts for the rich instead.

7 comments on “MSD household incomes report ”

  1. Joe Jones 1

    Tax cuts for the rich. I got one. Thanks for letting me know i am rich because i had not noticed it myself!

  2. Joe Jones 2

    Tax cuts for the rich. I got one. Thanks for letting me know i am rich because i had not noticed it myself!

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    What has the last thirty years of RWNJ policies proved? That RWNJ policies produce higher poverty and decreased development from over investment in asset bubbles.

  4. Michael 4

    The most significant finding in the report is one that is reported in previous issues: that inequality increased most rapidly during the late 1980s and early 1990s. We all know who was in power during the first phase and we all know who did nothing at all to repair the damage when in power from 1999 to 2008. Until Labour has the honesty to acknowledge the harm it did to the people during its fourth government it remains unfit for office.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • How we’re preparing for Omicron
    As countries around the world experience Omicron outbreaks, we’re taking steps now to ensure we’re as prepared as possible and our communities are protected. ...
    14 hours ago
  • What’s Labour achieved so far?
    Quite a bit! This Government was elected to take on the toughest issues facing Aotearoa – and that’s what we’re doing. Since the start of the pandemic, protecting lives and livelihoods has been a priority, but we’ve also made progress on long-term challenges, to deliver a future the next generation ...
    7 days ago
  • Tackling the big issues in 2022
    This year, keeping Kiwis safe from COVID will remain a key priority of the Government – but we’re also pushing ahead on some of New Zealand’s biggest long-term challenges. In 2022, we’re working to get more Kiwis into homes, reduce emissions, lift children out of poverty, and ensure people get ...
    1 week ago
  • Happy new year, Aotearoa!
    Welcome to 2022! As we look ahead to another year of progress on the big issues facing our country, we’re taking a look back at the year that’s been and everything the team of five million achieved together in 2021. ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Quarterly benefit numbers show highest number of exits into work
    The Government’s strong focus on supporting more people into work is reflected in benefit figures released today which show a year-on-year fall of around 21,300 people receiving a main benefit in the December 2021 quarter, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said. “Our response to COVID has helped ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Northland to move to Orange, NZ prepared for Omicron 
    Northland to move to Orange Rest of New Zealand stays at Orange in preparedness for Omicron All of New Zealand to move into Red in the event of Omicron community outbreak – no use of lockdowns Govt planning well advanced – new case management, close contact definition and testing rules ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • RNZAF C-130 Hercules flight departs for Tonga as Navy vessels draw nearer to Tongatapu
    A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules has departed Base Auckland Whenuapai for Tonga carrying aid supplies, as the New Zealand aid effort ramps up, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “The aircraft is carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies, including water ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga
    New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “Following the successful surveillance and reconnaissance flight of a New Zealand P-3K2 Orion on Monday, imagery and details have been sent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga
    The thoughts of New Zealanders are with the people of Tonga following yesterday’s undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. “Damage assessments are under way and New Zealand has formally offered to provide assistance to Tonga,” said Nanaia Mahuta. New Zealand has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record high of new homes consented continues
    In the year ended November 2021, 48,522 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the November 2020 year. In November 2021, 4,688 new dwellings were consented. Auckland’s new homes consented numbers rose 25 per cent in the last year. Annual figures for the last nine months show more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Report trumpets scope for ice cream exports
    Latest research into our premium ice cream industry suggests exporters could find new buyers in valuable overseas markets as consumers increasingly look for tip top quality in food. Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash has released a new report for the Food and Beverage Information Project. The project is run by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Honouring the legacy of legendary kaumātua Muriwai Ihakara
    Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Kiri Allan expressed her great sadness and deepest condolences at the passing of esteemed kaumātua, Muriwai Ihakara. “Muriwai’s passing is not only a loss for the wider creative sector but for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. The country has lost a much beloved ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Have your say on proposed changes to make drinking water safer
    Associate Minister for the Environment Kiri Allan is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer. “The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Planting the seeds for rewarding careers
    A boost in funding for a number of Jobs for Nature initiatives across Canterbury will provide sustainable employment opportunities for more than 70 people, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The six projects are diverse, ranging from establishing coastline trapping in Kaikōura, to setting up a native plant nursery, restoration planting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand congratulates Tonga's new Prime Minister on appointment
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Hon Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni on being appointed Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Tonga have an enduring bond and the Kingdom is one of our closest neighbours in the Pacific. We look forward to working with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High-tech investment extends drought forecasting for farmers and growers
    The Government is investing in the development of a new forecasting tool that makes full use of innovative climate modelling to help farmers and growers prepare for dry conditions, Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said.  The new approach, which will cost $200,000 and is being jointly funded through the Ministry for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Support for fire-hit Waiharara community
    The government will contribute $20,000 towards a Mayoral Relief Fund to support those most affected by the fires in Waiharara in the Far North, Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan says. “I have spoken to Far North Mayor John Carter about the effect the fires continue to have, on residents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Manawatū’s ‘oases of nature’ receive conservation boost
    The Government is throwing its support behind projects aimed at restoring a cluster of eco-islands and habitats in the Manawatū which were once home to kiwi and whio. “The projects, which stretch from the Ruahine Ranges to the Horowhenua coastline, will build on conservation efforts already underway and contribute ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to continue Solomon Islands support
    A New Zealand Defence Force and Police deployment to help restore peace and stability to Solomon Islands is being scaled down and extended. The initial deployment followed a request for support from Solomon Islands Government after riots and looting in capital Honiara late last month. They joined personnel from Australia, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago