Rich not getting richer

Max Rashbrooke writes:

New data from the IRD shows that the share of taxable income going to the richest New Zealanders has not changed under National. However, that share is still very large, indicating significant income imbalances.

The IRD data shows that the richest tenth of taxpayers got one-third of all taxable income in both 2008 and 2014. Within that, the richest 1%, about 34,000 people, got over 8% of taxable income.

In contrast, the poorest tenth got just 0.4%.

The income shares are broadly the same in 2014 as they were in 2008. This would suggest that pre-tax inequality has not increased under National.

It’s interesting data, but also limited as it is about individuals, not households. Someone in the bottom 10% of income earners may be married to someone in the top 1%. Also those retired or studying will of course have little income compared to those in FT work.

But what does the data show:

  • Taxable income of the top 1% has gone from 9.0% of all taxable income in 2008 to 8.4% in 2014
  • Share of income tax paid of the top 1% has gone from 13.1% in 2008 to 13.7% in 2014

So the top 1% are earning slightly less income (share) under National than they were under Labour, and they are paying a greater percentage of total income tax.

This goes against what you hear from Labour and Green MPs.

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