With hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders living below the poverty line, there is no cause for celebration at the publication of the National Business Review Rich List, FIRST Union says.
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.
The union's comments come after Labour MP Andrew Little also raised the spectre of growing inequality in response to the Rich List.
“Back where the rest of us live, workers are faring much worse those at the top of the economic pile,” FIRST Union general secretary Robert Reid says.
“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," he says.
“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.”
The union’s 46 member meetings across the country got under way this week.
Mr Reid says there has been a lot of discussion at them about low wages being one of the biggest drivers of poverty here.
“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," Mr Reid says.
“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."
The FIRST (Finance, Industrial, Retail, Stores & Transport) Union has about 27,000 members. It was created in 2011 when the National Distribution Union merged with bank workers' union Finsec.
This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags
- Joyce associates openly talking about leadership change
- Parent, widow of Pike River casualties fail to force review of decision to drop charges against Whittall
- iPredict decision the work of 'officious aliens' – Crampton
- Scentre Group to sell three Westfield malls to NZ firms for $549m
- Fonterra says farmer loan support package will cost $390 million
Most listened to
- Tim Hunter on why Veritas is doing it the hard way
- Matthew Hooton on whether Steven Joyce will be the next national leader
- Rodney Hide on why all city planners should be fired
- Nevil Gibson discusses his latest Editor's Insight on films
- The NBR crew throw around some of the week's top stories
- Rob Hosking breaks down the political and economic week that was
- "A tragedy" - David Farrar on his disappointment with Simon Bridges
- New F&P product pipeline exciting, says Macquarie senior investment adviser Brad Gordon
- Taupo Motorsport Park executive director Tony Walker on the park's rebranding
- NZIER senior economist Christina Leung on why she does not think the OCR will hit 2%
- NBR's Cameron Officer talks about the NBR Car of the Year 2015
- John Barnett on Brewer: ‘Boy, has he got a bit to learn’