The Productivity Commission – the Australian government’s highly influential economic advisory body – released a report titled Rising Inequality? last week. The question mark indicates its scepticism about other research findings on rising inequality in Australia. The commission responded to its own question in the report’s very first heading: “Over nearly three decades, inequality has risen slightly in Australia”.
This conclusion has left commentators divided. Some have celebrated this finding. Others, such as Peter Whiteford and Ross Gittins, argued the true picture is more complex.