It is worth reading the Overview of NZ Living Standards just published by MSD. Some fasiniating data.
I despite the traditional poverty definitions before they have nothing to do with poverty and are just about how much income distrubution you have. The poverty industry defines poverty so that a communist economy would have no poverty ever. In NZ if you cut 25% off the incomes of all those earning over $40,000, then you would officially have less poverty.
The NZLS uses a Economic Living Standard Index which while not perfect is a world acclaimed good research tool. For example in 2004 they found:
– 76% have a living standard of at least “fairly comfortable” to “very good”
– 96% have warm bedding
– 97% have a washing machine
Also have vs want:
– 79% of those wanting Internet access have it
– 64% of those wanting pay TV have it
At the bottom end, the survey found 8% of NZers live in “severe hardship”. Now living standards are not just about income. They found:
Low income people whose incomes are principally from income-tested benefits have generally low living standards, with more than a quarter in