Thursday, June 24, 2010

Income levels. Copy of comment on Greens website



The median individual income from all sources is $27000 odd.
Average wage and salary income is about $44000.
Average income is $34000.
These are individual not family incomes.
Individual incomes 0ver $60 000 are approximately 20%,  $70 000 are 12% of the population and over 100 000 3%.
The rich are the less than 1% who have a family income greatly over $300 000.
This shows how unequal wealth distribution is in NZ when less than 1% have 94% of the wealth.
Almost all working families have an income of $60 000 plus.
The real losers are beneficiary families which are mostly on or below the $27 000 individual median as family income.
Note the sums vary a bit from different sources and from month to month.
The point is at one time a family could live comfortably on the median individual  income. You could feed and house your kids on a benefit. Those who had done higher education, reached the top of their profession or trade  could do very well, as they should. Most families now need two income earners to be simply OK.
Now only those who were in the higher bracket are merely comfortable without two income earners in the family. There has been a drop in real incomes for all of us relative to GDP except for those in the very high bracket who have increased their income out of all proportion. Benefits are now way below the family cost of living.
Wages and salaries share have now shrunk to 44% of GDP and will go lower with more years of monetarist meanness.
I would like to see some of the tax burdon shifted from the median 80% of wage and salary earners to those who speculate in currency and those who make large capital gains, in the principal all sources of income should be equally treated for tax.
A guaranteed minimum income for children on the same basis as super, $10 000 exempt family income, financial transaction taxes and capital gains tax, a higher bracket over $200 000 and adjusting for bracket creep would make for more equity and allow some more spending on the lowest benefit earners. The abatement rate when you work part time on a benefit also needs to be addressed.

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