Knowledge and Resource Hub
23 April 2018

The cost of privilege

This research commissioned by Anglicare Australia estimates the cost to taxpayers of tax concessions and other economic transfers to the highest 20% of Australian income earners. The report argues that the most common narrative in our political and economic debate about inequality of wealth and income suggests that Australians with the lowest household incomes as a drain on the public purse, depicting the cost of our welfare state as unsustainable. However, the authors argue that our welfare system is amongst the most tightly targeted in the world. Their analysis of ABS data found that tax concessions for high income earners cost around $37 a week out of the pocket for every taxpayer, which is far more than the cost of support provided to any single welfare recipient group.