22 May 2016

Little targets National over growing inequality

6:02 pm on 22 May 2016

The Labour Party has challenged the government to deliver a Budget this week that benefits middle New Zealand and stops the squeeze on working families.

Andrew Little during caucus run 1.03.16

Andrew Little Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

In his pre-budget speech in Wellington this afternoon, Labour's leader Andrew Little said that under the National-led government the economy had been tilted in favour of those at the top.

Mr Little argued that only 37 percent of economic growth was now going to working families - under Labour he said it was 50 percent.

"If working New Zealanders' share of the economy hadn't shrunk under National, the average family would now be $50 a week better off.

"All up, the average family has missed out on more than $13,000 under this government," Mr Little said.

Mr Little said many New Zealanders had not seen a pay rise in years.

Mr Little also said the government must own up to and address the housing crisis, instead, he said it was siding with property speculators and land bankers.

"When kids are sleeping in cars, that's a housing crisis. When families are crowded into garages, that's a housing crisis. When an entire generation faces being shut out of owning their own home, that's a housing crisis."

Mr Little said that in March the average house price in Auckland had risen by more than $2200 each day.

He said if Labour were delivering this week's Budget it would work on building an economy that worked for everyone, "not just the few at the top".

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