Senate report shows why Australia needs to talk about inequality - Robert Douglas for The Conversation

4 February 2015

Zed Seselja

Zed Seselja led government members of the Senate inquiry in dissenting from its findings on the impacts of inequality in Australia. AAP/Alan Porritt

Bridging our growing divide: Inequality in Australia is an important report tabled without fanfare in the Senate by its Community Affairs References Committee. The report is clearly argued and well-buttressed by data and references. The points it makes about an issue central to the kind of society we are developing in Australia deserve wide community discussion.

The inquiry terms of reference called for a review of the extent of income inequality, the rate at which it is increasing and its impacts on access to health, housing, education and work.

The senators were also asked to inquire into specific impacts on disadvantaged groups. These included the likely impact of government policies – especially 2014-15 budget measures – on rates of inequality, the principles that should underpin social security payments and practical measures that government could implement to address inequality.

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