Inequality in Australia- A Nation divided

CEO Social Justice Blog

A new report released by ACOSS confirms what most of us in the welfare sector know, that inequality is increasing year to year across Australia.

The top 20% of income earning households earn five times more than the lowest 20%. And with regards to wealth the top 20% own 70 times as much as the poorest 20%.

Wealthy people hold this wealth in property, shares and superannuation and the lowest own low value assets such as cars and furniture.

Whilst there will always be some inequality in wealth, too much inequality holds back communities and even economies.

It’s families from the lowest incomes who tend to miss out on early education, stable housing, regular employment and good health, and as inequality increases so does the cost of containing and supporting those who miss out in life’s opportunities.

Economists know this and history tells us that eventually inequality leads to break down in community cohesion.

In the upcoming debates about taxation reform, the Federal Government has the opportunity to turn things around.

In my view changes to the tax benefits that wealthy people enjoy in areas such as investment housing, capital gains and superannuation would be enough to ensure the funding of much needed job creation and essential services for vulnerable families.