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Average weekly before-tax income from income support payments

Income inequalityInequalityComponents of income

This shows the average income support payments received by people in the different income groups in 2015-16.

The average social security income is $418 per week for the lowest 20%, of which 52% is from pensions and 20% is from allowances. In contrast, just 25% of the social security income of the lowest 5% is pensions and 37% is allowances. This can be explained by the fact that allowances are paid at a much lower rate, so people who receive them are more likely to be found in the lowest 5%.

The second 20% receives slightly less from income support payments than the first ($358 on average) due in part to the income-tests applying to allowances and pensions, but receives similar ‘other’ payments ($118) which mostly comprise Family Tax Benefit Part B.

Households in the highest 20% income group receive only $69 per week on average in social security payments.

While overall income from social security is much lower than earnings, the social security makes a substantial contribution to reducing inequality because the vast majority of payments go the lower half of people ranked by household income.



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