Rich-poor pay gap shrinking - report
11:32AM Thursday August 28, 2008

The pay gap between the rich and poor has shrunk for the first time in 20 years, according to a new report on the nation's social wellbeing.

But the Ministry of Social Development's 2008 Social Report also shows that housing affordability has worsened and there has been a marginal decline in the number of people engaged in tertiary study.

The annual report, released today, shows that at the end of 2007 a household edging into the top 20 per cent of income earners is 2.6 times better off than one sitting at the top edge of the bottom 20 per cent.

That is a fall from 2.7 per cent last year and the first fall since 1988, when the ratio sat at 2.2 per cent.

The report, which is compiled from a range of previously released statistics, also says there are fewer people living on lower incomes than 10 years ago.

In 2007, 13 per cent of people were deemed to living on low incomes compared with 22 per cent in 1997. Low incomes were defined as below 60 per cent of median income.

More here.