Public Commentary

Senate Inquiry Submission: The Extent of Income Inequality in Australia

AuthorsRebecca Cassells, Principal Research Fellow
Michael Dockery, Principal Research Fellow
Alan Duncan, Director
Published7 November 2014

This submission was prepared to inform the deliberations of the Senate Community Affairs References Committee during their inquiry into the Extent of Income Inequality in Australia. The submission draws on recent research conducted by the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre that examined the incidence and drivers of poverty and income inequality in Australia, with particular reference to:

  • the distribution of income and wealth measures for Western Australian households, and a comparison with the rest of Australia, over the past decade;
  • the impact of the resource boom on the distribution of income and wealth in Western Australia;
  • the prevalence of both standard and severe’ poverty across households in Australia;
  • employment trends and future scenarios as one of the main drivers of income inequality;
  • the pressures of costs of property and rental accommodation in Western Australia; and
  • the impact of unaffordable housing on the economic and social wellbeing of low income households in Western Australia.

The BCEC submission drew on findings from two major reports released by the Centre, on Sharing The Boom: the distribution of income and wealth in Western Australia; and on Falling Through the Cracks: poverty and disadvantage in Australia.