Inequality undermines the fairness of our economic system and leads to division within society.
Evidence shows that countries with lower inequality tend to have faster and more lasting economic growth; and that countries with high inequality can experience high levels of violence, suicide, obesity, mental illness, imprisonment and shorter life expectancy.
Inequality means that those in the lower groups don’t have the same access to opportunities as those in the higher groups. For example,
someone in the lowest group would find it more difficult to get a loan to start a business or pay for an advanced university degree than someone in the highest group.
Wealthier people can afford not to rely on shared services, such as public schools and public hospitals, by utilising private services. When this happens, they have less interest in supporting such shared services, leading to a more divided society.
What can we do about inequality?
So far, government policies have protected Australia from more severe inequality. But if we aren’t careful, changes to these policies will mean increasing inequality. For example, when we cut income support, we drag people who rely on it further down the inequality scale.
Another example is tax breaks for people on high incomes, which can mean that they don’t have to pay their fair share.
You can help by sharing the inequality video and other resources available at www.acoss.org.au/inequality
Find out more by watching the video, reading the other resources, or downloading the report at www.acoss.org.au/inequality
Find out more at www.acoss.org.au/inequality