Polling: Wealth Inequality
Wealth inequality is a top priority for Australians, but 73% underestimate the extent of the problem
The level of wealth inequality in Australia is vastly underestimated by the public despite being a top priority for many, as new polling finds nearly three-quarters of Australians are unaware of the disparity in wealth distribution.
Research commissioned by the Australian Fabians, a public policy think tank, reveals that 73% of people underestimate the level of wealth inequality in Australia, where the wealthiest 1% hold wealth equivalent to the poorest 70%.
Rectifying this inequality is nonetheless seen by many as a vitally important issue, with 43% claiming it should be a top priority for the Government. Increasing the minimum wage to a living wage was found to have overwhelming public support, with 69% believing it to be an effective measure of combating inequality.
Fabians Chair Billy Colless says the research demonstrates a troubling disconnect between the public’s understanding of wealth inequality and its ongoing commitment to a fair society.
“Australians believe we live in a fair, equal and equitable society, and are committed to realising that ideal. But it’s clear that we are deeply ignorant of how unequally wealth is distributed in our nation,” says Mr Colless.
“Not only do people not understand the extent of the problem, but they are a long way off the mark. This ignorance only benefits our Governments, allowing them to avoid one of the most pivotal challenges facing our society today.
“We need to change the discussion around inequality in Australia. We are no longer the land of the fair go which many Australians assume we are. The persistence of this belief is hampering crucial discussions around wealth, inequality and economic policy, discussions in which the public is deeply invested.”
Media contact: Hannah Craft, 0423 377 965
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