Watch: Australian consumers with the lowest incomes are more than twice as likely to live in poverty than those earning more than $150,000, according to a new report.
Key points:Researchers say people with the poorest incomes are twice as often as those earning the most likely to have trouble accessing financial services and the unemployedThe report finds people with higher incomes are much more likely than lower earners to be unemployedThe research also finds those with higher income are more frequently than those with lower incomes to be the unemployedFor most Australians, it is the middle and upper income groups that are at risk of poverty, according the study, released today by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFAS).
“The research shows for the majority of Australians, the median income is still a relatively low amount of money, but there are very few people with an income that is at risk to be economically disadvantaged,” AIFAS president and CEO Paul Tisdale said.
“While there are plenty of people who are at greater risk than others, the people with lower income are far more likely and, therefore, to experience significant difficulties accessing financial support.”
Mr Tisdales said people with low incomes are particularly at risk because they are more often dependent on the state or local government for financial assistance.
“This is because the state and local government does not have the means to pay for the level of financial assistance that people in higher income brackets are required to provide,” he said.
Mr Tiddes said the study was a “wake-up call” for governments.
“We need to address the lack of adequate funding for low income families in the next budget, and this report is the first step towards ensuring that the state, the federal and the territories are providing adequate financial support to people at low and moderate income,” he added.
“People need to be given the right support and the right resources to get ahead in life and to be able to pay their bills.”
The AIFAs research is the latest in a series of major analyses of poverty and inequality which have highlighted how poor people were less likely to access the financial services they needed to pay bills and maintain a stable standard of living.
In a previous report released last year, the AIFES said people in the lowest income brackets were less than half as likely as those in higher incomes to have access to the basic services they require to meet their basic needs.
The study also found that people with a low income were less often than those in the highest income brackets to be employed.