Mark Richardson sick of society 'dragging down' successful people

News 26/04/2019

Mark Richardson says he's sick of society "dragging down" those who are doing well to help those that are struggling.

The AM Show sportsreader on Friday took aim at the Government's push to fix "inequality", despite backing down on introducing a comprehensive capital gains tax.

"The CGT is well and truly off the table, but certainly dealing with inequality isn't," Labour MP Kris Faafoi told The AM Show, defending the now-ditched tax that would have seen many low- to middle-income earners pay less tax.

"It was about redistributing to people who are feeling the harsh edges of that inequality. They will still feel that, and it's our Government's job to deal with that fundamental problem of inequality, but obviously in a different way."

Richardson responded negatively.

"What does he mean? What do we mean? Yeah, fair to have a society in which people have a fair shot at it." he said.

But a successful society has winners and losers

"I want an environment whereby if you work hard, you succeed," he told his co-hosts.

"Now if you're succeeding, you're going to win. Unfortunately there are going to be some people who don't. That's a society I want to live in.

"I don't want a society where people go, 'Ooh, that person hasn't done particularly well, so let's drag those down who have, just to maybe throw them a little bit, which is not going to change their situation one iota."

I'm sick of it.

Richardson has often joked about going into politics, but rather than work his way up would only do it if the National Party made him their leader so he could go straight into being Prime Minister if they won an election.

National MP Judith Collins - who has tried unsuccessfully for the leadership herself in the past - wasn't having any of it.

"She crushed my political aspirations just like that," said Richardson. "With one sideways look, she put me in my place."

According to Oxfam, 1 percent of New Zealanders collected 28 percent of all wealth generated in 2017. At the other end of the scale, 1.4 million people had to share 1 percent between them. 

The same Oxfam report found Kiwi men - Graeme Hart and Richard Chandler - have more wealth than a third of the country combined.

In 2014, an OECD report said high levels of inequality hurt economies, leaving everyone worse off.  New Zealand was specifically singled out as a country where inequality has hit hard.

The AM Show