The pay gap between the rich and poor has shrunk for the first time in 20 years, according to a new report on the nation's social wellbeing.But we are supposed to think this is good.
Mr Gray said over the long-term social outcomes were improving. Several indicators also pointing to a reducing gap between Maori and Pacific Islanders and other groups ...So, when the gap is negligible, ie we are all poor and need hand-outs from the Government, those percentages that the Ministry for Social Development work off will look just great.
The annual report, released today, shows that at the end of 2007 a household edging into the top 20 per cent of income earners is 2.6 times better off than one sitting at the top edge of the bottom 20 per cent.In case no one has understood me, if you define a low income as a percentage of all incomes (60% of the median income) then you can effectively hide how poor everyone in NZ is getting. It would be better to have some sort of absolute marker (such as cost of food, fuel, housing, etc) and compare everyone to that instead.
That is a fall from 2.7 per cent last year and the first fall since 1988, when the ratio sat at 2.2 per cent.
The report, which is compiled from a range of previously released statistics, also says there are fewer people living on lower incomes than 10 years ago.
In 2007, 13 per cent of people were deemed to living on low incomes compared with 22 per cent in 1997. Low incomes were defined as below 60 per cent of median income.
And stop calling welfare benefits income! They are not income. Separate out the welfare from the people actually earning money. Calling welfare benefits "income" is an example of political correctness, where the purpose is to confuse, hide and compare oranges and apples in order to socially engineer long-term change.
Related Link: Rich-poor pay gap shrinking - report ~ NZ Herald