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Finance Minister Bill English has welcomed a report from University of Otago researchers, which analyses changes in income and deprivation between 2002 and 2009.
“The report confirms there was substantial income mobility over the period, with many New Zealanders moving in and out of different income bands.
“For example, only a quarter of those whose income was assessed to be in the bottom 10 per cent of incomes in 2002 were still in that position in 2009. That’s comparable to other countries such as Australia and the United Kingdom,” Mr English says.
This relatively high level of income mobility, particularly for lower income groups, confirms the need for careful targeting of government support and incentives.
The report also shows that only a small proportion of New Zealanders spend long periods on low incomes and in deprivation.
“The Government will continue with its programmes to help more New Zealanders to take advantage of opportunities to move into work, education and skills training,” Mr English says.
The research report, by Dr Kristie Carter and Dr Fiona Imlach Gunasekara of the Public Health Department at the University of Otago, examined longitudinal survey data collected in Statistics New Zealand’s annual Survey of Family, Income and Employment (SoFIE).