The latest State of the Nation report from the Salvation Army’s Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit
Soaring methamphetamine crime, a surging prison population and rents strangling stagnant incomes have marked this year’s annual State of the Nation Report.
Despite a rising GDP and more job creation, for many Kiwis life has not improved.
And, after five years of steady demand, the number of families seeking food parcels from The Salvation Army’s 65 food banks jumped 12 per cent – the biggest increase since the recession, report author Alan Johnson said.
Released today, the Salvation Army’s report Kei a Tatou, It is us monitors New Zealand’s social progress in 25 key areas and provides a 10-year analysis of how the country has progressed in bringing social and economic equity to citizens.
It’s not all bad – between 2013 and 2017, the New Zealand economy grew by 14 per cent, the number of jobs grew 15 per cent and per-capita GDP grew 13 per cent in inflation-adjusted terms.
However average weekly incomes, in inflation-adjusted terms, grew by 6 per cent over this time. There were no substantial change in child poverty rates, and youth unemployment remained around 20 per cent.
Johnson said it was clear strong economic growth had not been shared around.
The impact could be seen in a “frightening” rise in the number of families falling into food poverty, Johnson said.
“That’s the true cost of rent rises and slow wage growth on our most vulnerable families,” Johnson said.
“New Zealand cannot separate out its poorest people and pretend they don’t matter. New Zealand is us – all of us who see ourselves as Kiwi. So when some of us miss out, the responsibility for correcting it belongs to us all.”
See the report HERE or at: http://www.salvationarmy.org.nz/sites/default/files/uploads/20180214tsastateofthenation2018.pdf
Download the ten year report HERE or at: http://www.salvationarmy.org.nz/sites/default/files/uploads/20180214stateofthenation10yeartrendsonline.pdf
Comments and further reading from the sector regarding the Labour-Greens-NZ First Coalition Governments first Budget: