Rising income doesn't help NZ's poorest because of housing unaffordability

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1 NEWS

A new Government report has signalled that despite a rising average income, unaffordable housing has left the gap between New Zealand's richest and poorest unchanged.

The findings of the latest Government reporting measuring household incomes and inequality have been published.
Source: 1 NEWS

The Government Household Incomes report shows incomes have increased 11 per cent since 2008, but the potential benefits of this for those on society's margins are completely offset by increased housing costs.

People living in poverty in New Zealand are spending 51 per cent of their income on housing.

But voices in the Government say the data in the report does not reflect the present reality as it only reports up to 2015.

"I get very frustrated that the data is so far behind because it doesn't even reflect last year's child hardship package," Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says.

Prime Minister Bill English also cited the potential benefits of this package on the welfare of the nation's poorest.

"They come into effect on the first of April next year," Mr English said.

"The impact of that on various measures of course won't be counted for two or three years but for some families it could be over $100 a week and that would be significant for them."

"No we haven't failed, we're changing the system so that we can accommodate the growth that comes with a growing economy and growing population."

The report also found that between 2011 to 2015 the number of children living in material hardship in New Zealand dropped from 220,000 to 135,000.

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