National's brighter future is economic and social barbarism...
The Prime Minister's 'brighter future' for ordinary New Zealanders has been anything but.
This Government now holds the dubious distinction of presiding over the highest level of social inequality ever recorded.
The Household Incomes Report, released a week ago, revealed the gap between rich and poor widened substantially in 2011, putting inequality at its highest level ever.
Middle and lower class workers have seen their incomes fall significantly, while the rich saw their earnings increase.
We now have approximately 270,0000 children living in poverty. This is almost a quarter of all children.
This hasn't just happened but it has been largely invisible, ignored by a corporate media besotted by he trivial and the banal.
If you want to find the real cause of violence toward children then the answer lies in this horrific statistic. It's not 'irresponsible' parents' , nor it is the 'young mother who shouldn't have children' nor is it 'dysfunctional families' .
Paula Bennett , an ignorant and incompetent minister, has gone as far as to suggest that child poverty is not a problem because children move 'in and out of poverty on a daily or weekly basis' and, furthermore, there is 'no official measure of poverty' anyway.
These are the pat answers of a political order that is presiding over the pauperisation of New Zealand society by the forces of neoliberalism.
But life continues to be sweet for the wealthy elite.
The National Business Review's recent Rich List revealed that New Zealand's wealthiest individuals increased their combined fortunes by 27 percent in the past year, on top of a 20 percent increase in 2010-11. To qualify for the “Rich List”, the wealthy must have a net worth of at least $NZ50 million ($US41 million). This year, their total wealth has jumped from $42.5 billion to $57.7 billion, while the number of people on the list increased from 151 to 157.
Of course it also helps when you can avoid paying tax. While this Government continues to bash the poor, a Inland revenue study has exposed that only half of New Zealand's rich elite (with wealth of over $ 50 million) are paying the top tax rate.
And yet all the major parliamentary parties remain committed to the notion that is no economic alternative to 'the free market'. How can the opposition parties even suggest that they are offer a 'better' alternative to National when they are largely offering more of the same?
I am now firmly convinced that we cannot adequately respond to the continued attacks on working people through the established parliamentary process. The forces of neoliberalism have taken over the parliamentary process and we have been left with simply a meaningless charade. It is all 'sound and fury signifying nothing'.
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