Monday, March 22, 2010

Forced wealth redistribution losing popularity

A new instalment of the Social Inequality Survey conducted by Massey University has just been published with some interesting shifts in respect of welfare and wealth redistribution;

The Government’s Responsibility

Forty percent of respondents agreed that it is the government’s responsibility to reduce the differences in income between people with higher incomes and those with lower incomes. However, 34% disagreed and 26% neither agreed nor disagreed.

Responses to the question of whether the government should provide a decent standard of living for the unemployed showed a similar pattern: 43% agreed, 30% disagreed and 27% were neutral.

Only 22% of those surveyed agreed that the government should spend less on beneļ¬ts for the poor; 48% disagreed and 30% neither agreed nor disagreed. This is consistent with the notion that the government has a responsibility for reducing income differences.

However, while there is support for the government to play an active role in protecting those on low incomes and reducing income disparity, this support is by no means universal. Furthermore, the proportion of New Zealanders who believe that the government should reduce income differences has fallen by 10% since 1992. This mirrors a similar decline in the proportion who believe income differences in New Zealand are too large. In both cases, most of this decline has occurred in the last decade.

Following the current trend those who do not think it's the government's job to reduce income differences will be in a majority within 15-20 years. Whether that will translate into government action is quite another matter.


Anonymous said...

If in those few years it is a genuine and sustainable majority then the government will/must take heed.


JCUKNZ's blog said...

You may well be right in your final para. but I hope that you are not because either collectively or individually these people at the lower end of the income scale need the help. There is a regretable de-sensitivisation going on quite a way up the income scale as people forget the help they are getting in various ways [ WFF is one, tax cuts another, that come to mind ] and think that beneficiaries are just those on the dole or sickness benefit etc.