When a journal as influential as “The Listener” flags the great divide between the “haves” and the “have nots” as the legacy of the Covid pandemic, it’s an issue which should be consuming the attention of every politician — especially the politicians in a government with ministers who see themselves wearing the mantle of Michael Joseph Savage.
The Ardern government has not hesitated to throw money at the problem, as other governments have done, and massive stimulus from the Reserve Bank has helped get the economy back on track.
But, as economist Cameron Bagrie points out in “The Listener’s” study, not everyone has been a winner. He says the K-shaped recovery has exposed pre-existing tension points such as race and gender and who bears the brunt of a lift in unemployment.
“There’s the perceived gap between the haves and the have-nots, with soaring house prices at the epicentre. And at the very time we are dealing with that, the financial cost of our ageing population is rising rapidly. By 2035, a massive two-thirds of welfare benefit spending is projected to be spent on NZ Superannuation—and that’s not counting the growing health costs”, says Bagrie.
Covid has exacerbated inequality and driven holes in the social welfare safety net. Continue reading “Widening gap between the “haves” and “have nots” is the burning issue for Ardern’s government to tackle”