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The collective wealth of the top 10 per cent of households has soared since 2003 from $2.8 million to $5.2 million (Bigstock)

The gap between Australia’s haves and have-nots has widened in the past two decades, with a new report revealing the average household wealth of the top 10 per cent has grown much faster since 2003 than the lowest 60 per cent. Source: The New Daily. 

The collective wealth of the top 10 per cent of households has soared 84 per cent during that time, from $2.8 million to $5.2 million.

Comparatively, the average wealth of the lowest 60 per cent of households has risen 55 per cent from $222,000 to $343,000.

The data is revealed in a report released today by the Australian Council of Social Service and UNSW Sydney.

“These disturbing figures show that people with the lowest income and least wealth are being left behind by the increasing inequality in Australia,” ACOSS chief executive Cassandra Goldie said in a statement

“Without major reform to housing, superannuation tax breaks and income support, the divide between those with the most and those with the least will continue to deepen.”

Since 2003, 45 per cent of the rise in household wealth went to the top 10 per cent and half of that was pocketed by wealthy older people (those 64 years and older).

The gap is also growing among under-35 households, despite the group holding five per cent of all wealth.

The average wealth of the highest 10 per cent of households within the age bracket rose by 126 per cent (from $928,000 to $2 million), while that of the lowest 60 per cent increased by 39 per cent (from $68,000 to $80,000).

With higher interest rates set to push the unemployment rate back towards that mark, Ms Goldie warned those on income support would suffer most.

She suggested the fastest and most efficient way to bridge the gap would be to raise the JobSeeker rate from $55 a day to at least the pension rate of $80 a day.


Gap between haves and have-nots widens (By Callum Godde, AAP via The New Daily)