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In a nutshell, Australians are becoming poorer

By Arthur Plottier

This week we have in the news the ‘The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey’ (the HILDA report) and it does not paint a healthy picture. Despite our recent natural resources boom we are going backwards.

Some of the findings in the report are:

  • Households headed by a person aged 25 to 34 have fallen since 1960; from 60% to 47%. Also, the wealth in this group also have shrunk over the same period.
  • Roger Wilkins, the author of the report, said there had been “no real increase” in household wealth since 2006 and no real increase in incomes since 2009.
  • Wilkins says the number of owner-occupied houses fell by 3.5 percentage points between 2001 and 2015, and is tipped to decline further.
  • Close to 70 per cent of all Australian households received some form of welfare benefits between 2001 and 2014.
  • From 2012 household income has recovered slowly, climbing to $75,731 in 2014, still 0.7 per cent worse than in 2009, meaning typical Australian families are no better off than they were five years ago.
  • 12 per cent of households surveyed were unable to lay their hands on $500 of savings in the event of an emergency.
  • “Parents using childcare are, in real terms, paying more than double the fees they were paying in 2002. This is despite 25 per cent of families relying on grandparents for childcare, who provide an average of 14 hours of care per week,” said Prof Wilkins.

Not a lot to get excited about, is there?



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  1. Phil

    Appreciate the article – the figures are not surprising to me – they point to the chasm in thinking between those in conservative states who niavely believe they are governed by good intent and those who know we are the victims of a corrupt conservative system where business and government feather each others nests, and the general population are treated as suckers.

  2. mark

    In a nutshell,it’s about people voting for a millionaire,and hoping.mark

  3. Freethinker

    There is nothing to be proud about the current situation where few have made billions during the natural resources boom and poverty have increased at alarming rates
    In Australia, on any given night 1 in 200 people are homeless. Currently more than 105,000 are homeless.
    17% are children under 12 years old and 10% children between 12 and 18 years old.Fifteen per cent of all Tasmanians live in poverty.
    The most common measure of poverty is 50 per cent of the median income.
    In Tasmania, this equals about $358 per week for a single person and $752 per week for a couple with two children.
    State breakdown
    NSW 28,190 (40.8 people per 10,000) +20.4% since 2006
    VIC 22,789 (42.6 people per 10,000) +20.7 since 2006
    QLD 19,838 (48.5 people per 10,000) -5.1% since 2006
    SA 5,985 (37.5 people per 10,000) +1.4% since 2006
    WA 9,592 (42.8 people per 10,000) +1.1% since 2006
    TAS 1,579 (31.9 people per 10,000) +32.9% since 2006
    NT 15,479 (730.7 people per 10,000) -7.8% since 2006
    ACT 1,785 (50 people per 10,000) +70.6% since 2006

  4. cornlegend

    The sad part about all this, and I’m playing devils advocate is that Malcolm Turnbull and his LNP government were returned by the very people listed in the article and those included by posters .
    Just on AEC figures alone you can assume it was the new breed of the mythical “Howard Battlers”
    who got Malcolm over the line.
    Lets face it. It was the poor. the unemployed, low income earners and the battlers that topped of the vote for Malcolm and got him over the line.
    It had to be, their are just not enough “rich” and “middle class” to do it alone
    Talk to anyone who worked on polling booths, pre polls or door knocking or shopping centre and train stations and they will all have stories to tell of those likely to be most savagely brutalised by an LNP government but was voting for them anyway.
    I had a 22 y.o. living in a car, never had a job, on Newstart and voting LNP because “Shorten is in bed with the Unions”.countless pensioners, many obviously unwell and with health issues convinced by Alan Jones that the LNP would look after them, young married couples with kids who will never own a home voting LNP because of “debt and deficit” . a road repair crew voting in their lunch hour, for the LNP because “Labor will open the borders and asylim seekers would do their jobs for half the wage they get” a single mum, 3 kids who thought the ‘”Tony Abbott $75.000 baby bonus would help her when she had her next child”
    And many many more who just made you sit and shake your head.
    Ask any poll worker and they will have their examples.

    Sometimes.I think the only solution is to wait for Malcolm to show how wrong their ideas were, bear some pain and then start to take a serious look at reality .
    ANd stop buying the Daily Telegraph, turn off the shock jocks and watch a movie instead of A Current Affair or 60 minutes.

  5. gee

    oh, it is so wonderful to be among the 30% who gets no assistance whatsoever, with an income below the “poverty line”, no holidays, no sickpay. the joys of being a small business owner.

  6. cornlegend

    And under Turnbull . no longer a Minister for Small Business

  7. Freethinker

    cornlegend July 21, 2016 at 8:37 am
    “The sad part about all this, and I’m playing devils advocate is that Malcolm Turnbull and his LNP government were returned by the very people listed in the article and those included by posters”

    Yes, with the exception of Tasmania that it is the sad reality, even Barnaby increased his popularity.
    Some times I wonder if compulsory voting it is a good idea……

  8. jim

    IMO, what got MT “over the line” in a word media, If they’d stuck with mrabbit Labor would have romped in.
    the IPA’s wish no 15,( Eliminate laws that require radio and television broadcasters to be ‘balanced’,) this would drive the nail in past the nail head, and we’d all be shafted for ever and ever.

    with a party that increases the suicide rate by about 40% for men and 17% for women. my link; h

    Those that voted for the LNP don’t know what they did.

  9. jimhaz

    [oh, it is so wonderful to be among the 30% who gets no assistance whatsoever, with an income below the “poverty line”, no holidays, no sickpay. the joys of being a small business owner.]

    As far as I can tell there are far too many small business owners in the retail industry and with rents so high in malls, but no consumer traffic elsewhere, I really wonder how many survive.

    The bulk of the problem of course resides with the rise of retail supercompanies, but I also think immigration plays a big role. It would seem to me that migrants often choose retail or food outlets because it is something they can do – other options are so much more difficult. It is not the sort of small business competition we need as there is already an oversupply due to the loss of market share to the big retailers and the web. With globalisation manufacturing is also is too competitive to gain an entry as a small business. This leaves service industries – but they only suit a proportion of the population. I also expect that asia will start expanding more into service industries in their own countries and we could be left behind entirely.

    I want us to pick manufacturing winners. Sadly renewable energy would have been our best option but sales, investment and business confidence has been utterly destroyed by the LNP.

  10. Freethinker

    I do not think that there are to many homeless small business people.
    Regarding poverty I just wonder if in the above statistics are the people underemployed who earan well bellow the poverty line income.
    I hope that Scott Morrison and Mathias Cormann are not going to fix it on the “Mexican Way”

    Mexico cuts poverty at a stroke – by changing the way it measures earnings

  11. Terry2

    I heard a British economist the other day noting that the rush by central banks to reduce interest rates to as close to zero as possible was to encourage those who would be ‘savers’ particularly retirees to put their money into areas of greater risk with the hope that growth and gain would follow.

    With global stock markets having turned into casinos driven by computer trading only the very smart operators can possibly win.

    He mentioned that this was obviously impacting on real estate investment and that housing prices in Australia were at bubble proportions already and the government’s stubborn resistance to reforming negative gearing and associated capital gains concessions was just adding fuel to the fire.

    Not only are these low interest rates impacting on the ability of retirees to fund their retirement, they are placing a burden on future generations who will have to fund government pensions for those whose superannuation funds failed to meet their objectives.

  12. townsvilleblog

    When it is obvious that Australian life standards continue to deteriorate and this report says Australian families live on $75,000 plus, my family live on $25,000 plus and we live no differently than others we know. Life is a battlefield and the L&NP/LNP are not making things any easier by “giving” $48 Billion of our ‘hard earned’ tax money to those who pay little to naught tax themselves.

  13. Pingback: Against wealth inequality | Chris White Online

  14. Alan Baird

    Just a few more years of good conservative work, further “reforms” to Medicare, the gradual conversion of children to born-again christianity from the fine work of the priests in schools scheme, the final demolition of the unions by the fatal combination of Right wing governments and “entrepreneurial” union leaders and the fine supervision of the people’s minds by right wing media and we’ll achieve that ultimate US nirvana, the determinedly thick poor- to-middle-class-voter who conspires in his/her own detriment by allowing the political class to organise the brilliant choices that they’re now facing. Any concerns about the future of the USA MUST be allayed because of the deep reservoir of talent in the wings on either side of government. These guys almost uniformly have a surfeit of neo-con attitude and ready-made trickle-down solutions, and are ready to assume power, untroubled by an original alternative thought. However, I think Don’s new mate even LOOKS perfect for the part, never mind WHAT he actually thinks. Or if.
    . Thank goodness it could never happen here.

  15. Freethinker

    I hope that NATSEM soon will come with a new report about poverty, the last one was in 2013 and the trend was not good, quote:
    The report shows an increase in overall poverty between 2000-01 and 2011-12 in spite of a strongly growing Australian economy. The report details poverty rates by a range of important household types such as family type, state, unemployed households and the age of the youngest child in a household. The report also finds that children in some regions have fallen behind with significant disadvantage experienced in many Local Government Areas of Australia.

  16. Freethinker

    Not a very nice prediction, and if come true will increase the poverty.
    Australia’s credit binge will lead to a bust as soon as next year, with house prices to fall between 40 and 70 per cent and unemployment to rise sharply, Professor Steve Keen says. End of Quote

    That can be a catastrophic situation for the banks if people default their home loans. They will never get the money back.
    Just wonder what will be the solution for Morrison and Cormann, squeeze more the low income earners?

    Australia headed for recession next year, Professor Steve Keen says,-professor-keen-says/7674154

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