It’s official: inequality is the no. 1 issue for NZers

I’ve just been going over the results of Roy Morgan’s August opinion poll, and they’re clear: inequality and poverty are the most pressing issues for New Zealanders.

In the poll, 15 per cent say that “Poverty/ The Gap Between Rich & Poor/ Imbalance of Wealth” is the most important issue the country faces – more even than the economy and unemployment (both 13 per cent).

What’s also striking is how that level of concern has risen in a short space of time. It’s gone from three per cent in November 2010 to eight per cent in January 2012, to 15 per cent now.

While the poll figures do fluctuate a little, the upwards trend is clear – and that’s not even factoring in Bryan Bruce’s documentary on inequality, which screened on TV3 in late August and has raised the issue’s profile still further.

After the global financial crisis, it appears that people were concerned with issues immediately to hand: would there be jobs, and a recovery, any time soon? But as the economy has begun to recover, the question of who receives the greatest share of the income thus generated has become more and more salient.

The detailed results are available here: