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Malcolm Turnbull’s myth of ‘middle Australia’ ignores both gender and reality

Greg Jericho comments in The Guardian (18.4.17) on the Australian Taxation Office’s release of tax and economic statistics, arguing that income inequality between social and gender divides in Australia is entrenched and getting worse.

‘The release of the annual taxation statistics by the ATO offers a plethora of information about Australian workers that gives us an excellent snapshot of the nation. And the figures highlight that middle Australia earns much less than the government would have you believe and that women across all occupations continue to earn much less than men.

‘As we get closer to the budget, the phrase “middle Australia” will be put on high rotation in politician’s talking points. Last year the phrase was mostly used to justify the government raising the second highest income tax threshold from $80,000 to $87,000.

‘Last year, Malcolm Turnbull said it showed the government was “focusing on ensuring that Australians, middle-income Australians, those that are on average full-time earnings, which, as you know is nudging $80,000, don’t move into the second top tax bracket”.

‘And yet, the 2014-15 taxation statistics released last week revealed that the median taxable income of the 9.95m Australians with a taxable income was just $54,543. If you earned more than that, then you earned more than at least half of Australians.’

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