For just the fourth time in 30 years, the household gross disposable income (HGDI) in Australia has declined compared with the previous year. The HGDI is the amount of cash individuals and families receive from all income sources including investments – after taxes and the Medicare levy are paid.
The first year the HGDI declined was 2002 when the world was hit by the early 2000s global recession, while the second year was 2009, when the world was in the depths of the global financial crisis. After both events, the HGDI returned to a strong positive growth in the following quarters.
The other two declines in household gross disposable income came in 2015 and 2017 during periods of strong global recovery with record corporate profits and robust trade numbers. The HGDI has always been a strong measure of financial wellbeing even throughout times of crisis such as droughts, jobless rises and falls, recessions and housing booms and busts, so the sudden decline in times of prosperity are alarming.
Using ABS data, the amount of annual disposable income is now $29,640 per household – down from $31,960 just six months ago and $31,650 in 2013.
Interpreting these declines, The New Daily believes that “wages have been depressed in the past three years, the tax burden has shifted from corporations and high-income professionals to wage and salary earners, and both unemployment and underemployment remain entrenched”.
A decline in HGDI not only effects individual livelihoods, but also the organisations and industries Australia-wide that depend on this disposable income – from tourism and entertainment to restaurants and retail.
What do you think? Should we be alarmed with the sudden decline in HGDI? What effect will less disposable income have on industries and jobs in Australia? Has the current Government stacking the deck in the favour of big business essentially caused this decline?
Read more at smh.com.au
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