5 Ways to Talk About Inequality


Did you know…
how big the gap is between rich and poor?

  • Did you know that the gap between rich and poor is nearly twice what is was a generation ago/30 years ago?
  • Did you know that child poverty is twice as high as it was 30 years ago?
  • Did you know that the CEO of ANZ Bank earns more than $4 million per year? That is $2,000 per hour or about 140 times the amount the person who cleans his office would earn on the minimum wage of $14.25 per hour.

…how it got to be the way it is?

…the harm it is doing?

  • Did you know New Zealand has twice as many people with poor mental health than similar countries with low inequality?
  • Did you know that New Zealand has three times as many people who are very overweight (obese) than Sweden?
  • Have you heard that children in New Zealand get sick and die of diseases like rheumatic fever that are usually only found in very poor countries?
  • New Zealand puts twice as many people into prison as other more equal countries do, even though the level of crime is not very different from those countries.
  • Leaving 285,000 children in poverty costs us all as a country up to $8,000,000,000 each year (6% of GDP)

…it doesn’t have to be this way!

  • How about we choose that those on higher incomes and with more wealth should pay more tax to fund better welfare, health care and education?
  • Did you know only $800 million is the ‘total poverty gap’ or amount it would take to lift everyone out of poverty in New Zealand?

… the kind of benefits greater equality might bring?

  • Did you know that countries that are more equal are better places to live?
  • Imagine a future New Zealand where these kinds of changes could happen:
    • we all live on average 2–3 years longer
    • 100 fewer children die before their first birthday
    • hundreds fewer children are disabled by disease
    • thousands fewer people end up in prison
    • with half the level of depression and other mental illness
    • fewer teenagers getting pregnant and needing abortions or struggling to bring up their children.