Closing the inequality gap

Samaritans CEO

The gap between the rich and the poor in Australia is of real concern as it continues to widen. Australia was once known as the land of the middle class; however statistics today paint a very different picture.  The top 20% of households in the highest wealth bracket receive half of the total income of the Australian population, while the bottom 20% gets just four percent. Also widening in Australia is the generational wealth gap. Baby boomers represent 25% of the population in Australia yet they own 53% of our nations wealth. Whilst those in Generation Y, born during the 1980’s and 1990’s own one quarter of it. It’s no wonder the opportunity to become a home owner is so far out of reach for young people.

Excessive inequality can have huge consequences on a society. It means that people cannot enjoy the same social and economic opportunities – making the rich richer and the poor more oppressed. It also has flow-on effects for our economy as resources become concentrated in fewer hands and consequently there is reduced economic participation and opportunity.

Australia has ratified its support to meet the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, the first of which is to end poverty worldwide. As part of this I hope our nation works to address the precursors of poverty happening in our own backyard.

Samaritans is a charity that assists thousands of people in need throughout Newcastle & the Hunter. Find out how Samaritans can help you here