Wealth gap in Australia widening

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The gap between the rich and poor in Australia continues to grow. According to Oxfam the wealthiest 1% of Australians now have more money than the bottom 60% of the population!

By Dean Roberts, Socialist Party

Almost 80% of people feel that the gap between the rich and poor had widened over the past 10 years. This is little wonder given the nine richest people in Australia now own wealth equal to the bottom 4.5 million people.

In 1995, Australia had an ‘average’ level of inequality compared to other OECD countries but today it is below average. In recent decades the income share of the top 1% has doubled while the income share of the top 0.001% has more than tripled.

This situation is likely to get much worse if the government’s budget measures are implemented. Already unemployment benefits in Australia are the lowest of all OECD countries with the payment now 20% below the poverty line.

Abbott’s budget measures would result in a further cut of up to 15% in the disposable income of the low income earners. At the same time high income earners would see a mere 1% cut in disposable income.