A new paper produced by the inclusive prosperity commission attached to Labor’s official thinktank – the Chifley Research Centre – says inequality in Australia is on the rise and structural inequality puts a drag on economic growth.
Middle Australia is facing an income squeeze and the gender pay gap has widened significantly since the mid-2000s – according to the research which aims to recalibrate the policy conversation around economic growth in the lead-up to the ALP’s national conference this weekend.
The research says for the past 25 years Australia has bucked an international trend of runaway inequality and wealth concentration that has shrunk the middle class in the US and Europe – but there are signs of a shift in this country.
The paper will be launched in Sydney on Monday evening and presages the economic policy debate at the national conference on Friday – a debate that has thus far been overshadowed by looming conference flash points including asylum boat turnbacks, rule changes and whether there will be a binding vote on same-sex marriage.
‘The threat of rising inequality is critical policy context for major debates at Labor’s conference on fiscal policy – tax policy – industrial relations and trade – a pro-equality platform will be a pro-growth platform’ said the Chifley Research Centre’s executive director – Michael Cooney.
(ed:..it has long puzzled me that labour in nz seem to be unwilling/unable(?) to argue the economic-case for ending poverty/inequality..
..that case being it is economics 101 that the quickest/best way to stimulate/grow business/the economy is to increase the incomes of the worst-off – the reason being that pretty much 100% of that money churns straight back into the economy – through the tills of retailers/service-providers..
..it also puzzles me how the tories seem to be ideologically-blind to this economics 101 rule/fact..
..especially when the retailers/service-providers who would benefit from this churn are their natural constituency..(!)..
..(it is clear there are none so sight-deprived as the ‘ideologically-blind’..eh..?..)
..but really..what is it with labour that they cannot/will not sell that simple message to all concerned..
..that there are no losers from ending poverty/inequality..)