NZ household incomes continue to rise

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New Zealand’s Social Development Ministry latest Household Incomes Report showed that the nation’s median household incomes rose 3% in real terms in the year to June 2016.

Commenting on the report, New Zealand’s Social Development Minister, Anne Tolley said: “Despite the effects of the Global Financial Crisis, most Kiwi households are much better off today than they were back in 2008. Since 2008 median household incomes have risen by around 11% more than inflation – faster than in many other OECD countries. This contrasts with Australia, the UK, the US, France, Italy and Germany where real household incomes remain at or close to pre-GFC levels.”

The report shows there is no evidence of any sustained rise or fall in household income inequality over the last two decades.

“This is the result of our growing economy creating more jobs and opportunities for people to get ahead, and also the redistributive nature of our tax and transfer system,” Tolley said. “The report also highlights that housing affordability and quality are an issue for lower income groups with housing costs making up a larger proportion of their household budget.

The report also shows that:

·         New Zealand continues to rank near the middle of the OECD in terms of income inequality, poverty and material hardship.

·         Incomes for minimum wage workers rose by around 7% in real terms between 2008 and 2015, however incomes for beneficiaries remained steady.