NZ Household income – addressing the gaps

This chart from the Household Incomes Report is worth deeper inspection.

Each row adds up to 100%, so, for example, 12% of people 0-17 are in the top quintile (top 20%) of households by income.

 

I want to call out three findings:

Maori and Pacific Island households are much less likely to be wealthy, and likely to be poor. We need to do better.

25% of European/Pakeha households are in the top 20% of earners, but only 9% of Maori and 6% of Pacific Islanders are in the top 20% of earners. 33% of Maori and 35% of Pacific Island households are in the bottom 20% of earners.

That’s a systematic gap that percolates throughout society, and we need to fix it.

Old people are poor (in income), but well looked after.

35% of households with 65 year olds earn in the bottom 20% of household incomes and just over half of all 65+ year olds living alone have income in the bottom 20%.

Our society has delivered to these people with a guaranteed basic income (superannuation), free health care and free public transport travel.

Single parents are poor, but not so well looked after.

50% of single parents are in the bottom 20% of household incomes.

We have not provided these parents with a no-strings guaranteed basic income nor with free public transport.

They have more expenses than old people (aside from health care) and making sure their kids are raised in a secure environment has large and positive future impacts on society. We can do better.

 

About Lance Wiggs

@lancewiggs
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