2 September 2020

Some bad news: “A new report from the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and the University of New South Wales — using the latest available ABS data from 2017-18 — shows how far behind those on the lowest incomes are from the nation’s richest households. The report found the incomes of those in the top 20 per cent were six times higher than those in the bottom 20 per cent. That is worse than 2015-16, when the ratio was five times.” But then some good news [$]: “The government’s extraordinary income support measures have virtually eliminated poverty in Australia, according to new ­research from the ANU’s Centre for Social Research… [T]he number of people in poverty has dropped from 1.6 million pre-COVID to 1.1 million — a reduction of about a third. Moreover, the introduction of the wage subsidy and boosted JobSeeker had ‘almost eliminated poverty for some of the most disadvantaged groups’, reducing poverty rates for households on Newstart from 67 per cent before the crisis to less than 7 per cent.” Bad news again: having stumbled upon a policy that lifted millions out of poverty, the Morrison Government is going to scrap it at the end of the month.