For the 99 per cent: Inequality in Australia


Decades of neo-conservative policies and the failed theory of trickle-down economics has led to the highest levels of income inequality on record. Corporations have become too powerful, and working people are missing out. While profit growth is the strongest it has been in 15 years, wage growth is the lowest on record.

Inequality: the facts

If we don’t change course Australia will be a society of extreme inequality and dead end jobs, we will have no job security, have to work longer and take fewer or no holidays. We face significant issues:

  • Income inequality is greater than any time in the last 76 years. 
  • The top one per cent have over 22 per cent of total Australian wealth. 
  • The top one per cent own more wealth than the bottom 70 per cent of Australians combined. 
  • The richest 10 per cent enjoy greater income growth than the poorest half of Australians combined. 
  • Eight of the richest men have more wealth than half of the global population (3.6 billion people) (Oxfam 2017). 
  • Profits are up 40 per cent on the year – the strongest gains in 15 years, yet Australian wage growth is the lowest on record. 
  • There are over One million Australians who are underemployed and want to work more. 
  • Youth unemployment is in double digits and particularly high in certain regions. 
  • 40 per cent of Australians are in insecure work. 
  • Despite all this, workers are facing penalty rate cuts and their rights at work are being attacked.

If you take away the rights of workers and their unions, people get paid less and their work gets more insecure.

The best way to stand up and reduce inequality is to join your union and change the rules.