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Photo: Alice Snedden’s Bad News
Photo: Alice Snedden’s Bad News

Pop CultureSeptember 14, 2022

One easy step to close the wealth gap entirely

Photo: Alice Snedden’s Bad News
Photo: Alice Snedden’s Bad News

In the new episode of Alice Snedden’s Bad News, the comedian unearths a revolutionary way to end the inequality gap in Aotearoa forever. 

The current state of the economy raises more questions than answers for most of us. For example, we hear a lot about the cost of living, but what does that actually mean? Why does the wealth gap keep getting bigger? Why doesn’t our so-called liberal government simply share the cash around? Why did they wimp out on capital gains? Are rich people paying enough tax? Is money the root of all evil? And why hasn’t there been a revolution yet? 

In the latest episode of Alice Snedden’s Bad News, the comedian speaks to financial journalist and When the Facts Change host Bernard Hickey about how we have reached what he describes as a “brutally unequal” society. “We have the most expensive housing in the world by any measure, so we are special,” he said. “And the reason we are special is because we are the only country in the world that does not tax capital gains.”

When asked about the Labour government’s hesitance to further tax the rich, deputy prime minister and minister of finance Grant Robertson told Snedden that “it is a lot easier to put a tax down than it is to put a tax up in terms of what people will accept.” Instead, he says that the government has taken an “incremental” approach to change, including the Brightline test and interest tax deductibility.

Hickey deemed these as “pathetic, distractional and performative” steps to fix a massive generational problem. “Anyone who owned land from the 1980s onwards is now rich,” said Hickey. “And anyone who is a renter – which means mostly young people, mostly Māori, mostly Pasifika – is dirt poor.” Ngarimu Blair (Ngāti Whātua), deputy chair of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei trust said that tangata whenua are still “restoring and recovering” from losing over 80,000 hectares of land over one generation when the country was colonised, seven generations later. 

That leaves Snedden with only one solution for privileged land-owning Pākeha New Zealanders like herself to help fix inequality…

Alice Snedden’s Bad News is made with support from NZ On Air.

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