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Mixed messages from latest income report

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/09/2016

The government is using the latest household income data as evidence that its policies are working, while Labour says it reveals wealth inequality at record levels.

Cabinet minister Steven Joyce says it shows the average annual income has increased by 25 per cent to $58,000 since 2008, when National came to power.

He says that's twice the rate of inflation.

"Compare that with when we came to office - wages had increased 5.1 per cent in the previous year but that was completely offset by rampant inflation, also at 5.1 per cent," he said.

Labour's finance spokesman, Grant Robertson, says the Household Income Report shows Kiwis aren't getting their fair share of economic growth.

"This report shows that the incomes of the top 10 per cent are now almost 10 times the amount of the bottom 10 per cent - this is a record and not one to be proud of," he said.

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