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Rich List won't be celebrated everywhere - union

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

With hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders living below the poverty line, there is no cause for celebration at today’s publication of the NBR Rich List, FIRST Union said today.

The NBR’s annual publication, out this morning, reports an increase from 2012 of $3.5 billion in total minimum net worth among Rich Listers.

"Back where the rest of us live, workers are faring much worse those at the top of the economic pile," said Robert Reid, General Secretary, FIRST Union.

"There is a growing concern among New Zealanders about income inequality."

"The Bryan Bruce child poverty documentary, Max Rashbrooke’s recently published book on inequality and the work of many community organisations on welfare reforms, housing and other issues has intensified the debate in recent years."

"And we now have a Living Wage movement that is drawing attention to low wages in New Zealand, and what some of the solutions are."

FIRST Union’s 46 member meetings across the country got under way this week, and low wages being one of the biggest drivers of poverty in New Zealand has been a common discussion point, Robert Reid said.

"There is no excuse for families living in damp, cold houses and children going to school without food, when New Zealand has more than enough collective resource to provide for its people."

"The top 1% owns three times as much wealth as the poorest 50%, and so while the Rich List is celebrated today among those on very high incomes, unions like ours will refuse to accept this inequality, and continue to push for a more equal society," Robert Reid said.

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