Community attitudes: People can experience poverty through no fault of their own

This chart shows the responses in our Community attitudes towards poverty and inequality survey 2023 to the idea that people can experience poverty through no fault of their own.

It shows that 81% of people in Australia agreed that people can experience poverty through no fault of their own.

Read the full report here: https://bit.ly/communityattitudes2023

 


Community attitudes: Incomes at the top are too high and should be reduced

This chart shows the responses in our Community attitudes towards poverty and inequality survey 2023 to the the idea that incomes at the top are too high and should be reduced.

It shows that 63% of people in Australia agreed that the incomes of those with the most are too high and should be reduced.

Read the full report here: https://bit.ly/communityattitudes2023

 


Community attitudes: Incomes of those on the lowest incomes are too low and should be increased

This chart shows the responses in our Community attitudes towards poverty and inequality survey 2023 to the query whether the incomes of those in the lowest income group are too low and should be increased.

It shows that 76% of people in Australia agreed that the incomes of those on the lowest incomes are too low and should be increased.

Read the full report here: https://bit.ly/communityattitudes2023

 


Community attitudes: The gap between the wealthy and those in poverty is too great and should be reduced

This chart shows the responses in our Community attitudes towards poverty and inequality survey 2023 to the idea that The gap between rich and poor is too great and should be reduced. 

It shows that 74% of people agreed that the gap between the wealthy and those living in poverty is too great and should be reduced.

Read the full report here: https://bit.ly/communityattitudes2023

 


Community attitudes: Poverty is a problem that can be solved

This chart shows the responses in our Community attitudes towards poverty and inequality survey 2023 to the idea that Poverty is a problem that can be solved.

It shows that 75% of people in Australia agreed that poverty is a problem that can be solved with the right systems and policies. 

Read the full report here: https://bit.ly/communityattitudes2023

 


Community attitudes: Government policies have caused some people to experience poverty

This chart shows the responses in our Community attitudes towards poverty and inequality survey 2023 to the statement Government policies have caused some people to be poor

It shows that 62% of people in Australia agreed that government policies have caused some people in Australia to experience poverty.

Read the full report here: https://bit.ly/communityattitudes2023 


Most people support lifting incomes for those with the least

Three-quarters of people in Australia support an income boost for people with the least while less than a quarter think it’s possible to live on the current JobSeeker rate, new research by ACOSS and UNSW Sydney shows.

The latest report from the Poverty and Inequality partnership, Community attitudes towards poverty and inequality 2023: Snapshot report, also shows 74% think the gap between wealthy people and those living in poverty is too large and should be reduced.

The survey of 2,000 adults in Australia shows most people (62%) think government policies have contributed to poverty, while 75% think it can be solved with the right systems and policies.

  • More than two-thirds (69%) think poverty is a big problem in Australia
  • Just 23% agreed they could live on the current JobSeeker rate
  • Another 58% said they would not be able to live on that amount, while 19% were unsure
  • Three-quarters (76%) agree the incomes of people earning the least are too low and should be increased
  • Most people think no one deserves to live in poverty, and that unemployment payments should be enough so people do not have to skip meals (86%) and can afford to see a doctor (84%)

ACOSS Acting CEO Edwina MacDonald said: “This survey shows popular support for the Federal Government to intervene to directly tackle poverty and the wealth gap that is threatening Australia’s social and economic fabric.

“Most people know it is simply not possible to live on the punishingly low rate of JobSeeker that traps people further in poverty. Instead, the majority of people think the government has a responsibility to look after those people struggling the most.

“We know from the pandemic that the key to solving poverty is lifting income support payments. The government has no excuse not to bring them up to at least the Age Pension rate of $78 a day in the face of such strong public support.”

Scientia Professor Carla Treloar of the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW Sydney & lead author of the report said: “Community attitudes can wield significant influence on social policy.

“This research underscores the public’s awareness of policy impacts. The fact that the majority of people in Australia believe that government policies both contribute to and can solve poverty and inequality demands immediate policy reform. It’s time to address unjust policies failing those in need.”

UNSW Sydney Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Attila Brungs said: “The Poverty and Inequality Partnership between ACOSS and UNSW exemplifies our University’s vision for societal impact and the power of research to influence positive change.

“The insights and robust evidence that the Poverty and Inequality Partnership provides are vitally important for understanding how we can do better for some of the most disadvantaged groups of people in our society.

“Millions of Australians live with poverty and inequality. Highlighting community attitudes can help inform shifts in social policies that lead to better outcomes for us all.”

Mission Australia CEO Sharon Callister said: “This report makes clear that Australians want poverty eliminated in Australia, and that most people believe current levels of income support aren’t enough to survive and make ends meet.

“For people who are receiving income support and access Mission Australia’s services, the current rate of JobSeeker is profoundly inadequate and simply does not help get people back into work. It often traps them and their families in survival mode and pushes them into rental stress and homelessness.

“We hope that the government will start to take community expectations seriously and implement real solutions like adequate income support to end poverty and poverty-induced homelessness in Australia.”

Read the report at: https://bit.ly/communityattitudes2023


Average annual change in disposable income during COVID-19

This chart shows how income inequality declined sharply in year one of the Covid recovery (2020-21) but was restored to its previous level in year two (2021-22).

It shows that, in year one (2020-21), inequality declined. The average income of the lowest 20% grew by 5.2% after inflation, compared with 3% for the middle 20% and 2.4% for the highest 20%. In year two (2021-22) this pattern was reversed. The average income of the lowest 20% fell by 3.5%, compared with a fall of 0.5% for the middle 20% and a fall of 0.1% for the highest 20%. When we compare average growth in incomes for the two-year recovery period from 2019-20 to 2021-22, these effects largely cancel each other out leaving little change in income inequality overall. The income of the lowest 20% grew by an average of 0.8% per year, compared with 1.3% per year for the middle 20% and 1.1% per year for the highest 20%.


Average changes in hours worked and household incomes during COVID-19

This chart shows the changes in incomes and work hours during first years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It shows that, during ‘year one’ of recovery (2020-21), average household after-tax incomes grew by an extraordinary 3.1% after inflation, much faster than average income growth since the Global Financial Crisis. This occurred despite strict COVID lockdowns and the economic uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, which reduced average paid working hours per capita by 0.5% compared to hours worked in 2019-20.

During ‘year two’ (2021-22), these trends were reversed. Average household incomes declined by 0.7% after inflation despite the reduced severity of lockdowns and a solid 2.4% increase in overall paid working hours per capita.