10 July 2015 | General Interest
On 22 June the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) released Inequality in Australia: A Nation Divided. This report is the first of its kind, and analyses trends in income and wealth inequality in Australia over the last 20 years.
The report reveals that income inequality in Australia is higher than the OECD average; a person in the top 20% income group has around five times as much income as someone in the bottom 20%; while a person in the top 20% wealth accumulation group has around 70 times more wealth than a person in the bottom 20%. The top 10% of households own 45% of all wealth, most of the remainder of wealth is owned by the next 50% of households, while the bottom 40% of households own just 5% of all wealth.
The report is accompanied by a video, which explains and describes the effects of this growing inequality in a readily accessible and understandable way.
Based on these revealing findings, ACOSS is urging all Australian governments to make addressing growing inequality a top policy priority. Despite increasing levels of income and wealth inequality, the report does note that Australia has a highly redistributive tax transfer system. Our various income, asset and employment tests mean that, as a proportion of overall transfer payments, Australia redistributes more income to the poorest 20% of our population than virtually any other OECD country.
To learn more, access the full report via the ACOSS website.