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Description of the Issues

Discuss about the Change Proposal for Addressing Inequality in Australia.

The term inequality generally refers to a social, financial, professional and national phenomenon which deprives individual or group of individuals from getting equal rights compared to others. The below provided study is a change proposal which is aimed at the purpose of finding solutions or addressing inequality in Australia. In recent few decades due to massive globalisation and other significant national issues in Australia inequality has massively increased within the nation in terms of wealth, education and income (Saunders, 2016). It has been observed in several of recent reports that increasing wealth, income and education inequality in Australia is causing severe damages to the living standards and subsequently inequality is becoming one of the most hazardous national issues as well. Hence, in the below provided change proposal a detailed analysis has been made on inequality issues and possible reasons behind their occurrence in Australia so that appropriate proposals could be recommended or the solution of issues (Ford, 2013).

In case of income inequality in Australia, after the World War 1 phase the economic growth of Australia was pretty equal for every socioeconomic group within the nation but the differences are majorly caused by uneven growth of fulltime earning among the top and bottom socioeconomic groups in the society. Over the last decade the riches 10% people in Australia have enjoyed a growth of almost 50% in their earnings where the bottom 20% poorest population in the nation have not got 12% growth in their income (Martinez Jr et al 2015). Even among the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries Australia provides the lowest unemployment benefits to its people which makes things more severe for poorer people in the society (Fenna & Tapper, 2015).

On the other hand, wealth inequality is also a significant issue which is just a reflection of the consequences of income inequalities. The wealthiest 20% household in Australia accounts almost 61% of the total household net worth and the average worth in these richest households is near to $2.2 (Martinez Jr et al 2015). On the other hand, the poorest 20% household in Australia accounts only 1% of the total household net worth within the nation and the average wealth for every household is around $31,205 (Dollman et al 2015). These differences of wealth show the severity of inequality within the nation which is no doubt a significant issue for the overall development of society and national economy. 

Proposal for Change

Another aspect of inequality which makes the things worst for people is educational inequality and uneven distribution of education across the nation. It should be mentioned that the income of a post graduate individual in Australia is higher than income of two individuals having year 11 or lower qualification (Saunders, 2016). Hence, it is very evident that inequality of income or wages in terms of educational qualification is another significant aspect which triggers the effects of inequality within Australia. Another significant factor which triggers the issues of inequality in Australia in terms of education is massive privatisation of secondary education system and subsequent lack of affordability of higher education to the poorer people in the society. Where most of the richest nations and OECD nations have only 10% of their secondary education system acquired by the private organisations in Australia almost 30% of the secondary education system is acquired by private authorities (Dollman et al 2015). Subsequently, pooper people in Australia fail to afford the expenses for having proper education from these privatised secondary education institutes and as a result the issues of inequality rapidly increase due to the stagnation of educational growth for the poor socioeconomic people (Richardson & Denniss, 2014).

Hence the main reasons which could be identified for the increasing inequality in Australia are listed below,

The main reason for inequality issues in Australia is economic dominance of the riches socioeconomic group and lesser support to the poorest people (Fenna & Tapper, 2015).

The taxation system in Australia is also inequitable sand inadequate with respect to the income and wealth hold by the richest people in the society. Subsequently, the wealthiest are gaining more wealth and the poorer could not get the justified government aid due to lower national income for lower taxation of richer socioeconomic groups (Martinez Jr et al 2015).

The relative value of various government transfer payments is also remarkably lower than other richer and OECD nations (for example – unemployment benefits) which also restrict the growth of poorer people (Fenna & Tapper, 2015).

Educational inequality and lack of affordability of higher education to the pooper people in the society is also a significant reason for the inequality issues in Australia (Stiglitz, 2014).

Now the proposed changes which could be recommended to Australian Government for reducing the issues of inequality within the nation are discussed below.

According to the classification by Beckett (2006) theories can be either formal or informal. Formal theories are the ones that can be traced back to an author, whereas informal theories are such which are generated from the experience of the social worker. The informal theories are due to the experience and practice of the social workers and this is also referred to as practice wisdom. In this case practice wisdom has been used to provide the proposal for change

The taxation system of the nation must be reformed first for applying justified taxation on the income richest socioeconomic group in the society. That would be an effective approach for the nation to reduce the differences of income among the richer and pooper people in the society. It will also increase the income of Australian government to gain higher amount of government funds through taxation system depending on which aids to pooper people could be increased and better social development could be endured as well (Saunders, 2016).

The education system in Australia must be reformed for long term objective of permanent elimination of inequality within the nation. It is discussed in the previous segment of this proposal that 30% of the total secondary education system in Australia is privatised which makes higher education unaffordable for the poorer people in the society. Until the Australian government is focusing on the educational development of the poorer people it would not be possible for the nation to develop their income abilities (Bray, 2014). Hence, the privatisation of higher education system must be controlled by the government of Australia so that higher number of poorer people in the society could gain education without bothering about expenses. More government educational institutes must be formed and private institutes must be instructed by the Australian Government for contributing to the educational development of disadvantaged groups in the society (Dollman et al 2015).

In UK we have observed the national policies and legislations like National Minimum Wage Act 1998 which controls the organisations within the nation to pay uniform wages to people working at same operation level (Stiglitz, 2014). Hence, the Australian Government must ensure a justified range of wage through relevant legislations for people working in the base level operations in different industries. Moreover, The Australian government must set the pension and other governmental benefits above the poverty line so that poorer people in the society could be helped with their economic growth with the government aided funds (Saunders, 2016).

The Australian government should also identify the areas where unemployment is a severe issue so that effective job creation programs could be conducted in those regions and eligible people could be provided with proper employment opportunities. The employee management and cooperative ownership model for businesses operating within the nation should also be reformed by Australian Government so that valid employment opportunities could be created for poorer people in the society in different industries (Richardson & Denniss, 2014). The government could also conduct various skill development programs in different regions suffered with unemployment so that people could be provided with justified and effective employability skills and knowledge to arrange employment for them. The banking system in Australia could also contribute to the development of poorer socio economic groups through providing them with micro finances to arrange self-employment (Bray, 2014). The social determinants of health in Australia should be complied with the WHO recommended standards so that better health and wellbeing of society could resist the increase of health inequality as well (Ford, 2013).

If the feasibility of the proposed approaches to the Australian government would be analysed it could be observed that those are effective and feasible for reducing inequality. First of all reformation of education system will make the higher education system more accessible for the poorer socioeconomic groups which will increase their abilities to apply for better jobs. Better education will increase the employment opportunities for poorer propel and that would be the solution for redacting the inequality with respect to income and wealth as well (Leigh, 2013). The reformation of the taxation system will enable the Australian Government to reduce the differences of wealth and income among the richer and poorer socioeconomic groups and it will provide the government with more funds through taxation which could be utilised for educational and health development for pooper people in the society as well (Dollman et al 2015). Another significant factor which has been observed for having significant role to create inequality in Australia is wage differences. Hence, government policies and legislations for ensuring valid wages to the base level staffs would be effective for reducing wage differences. The skill development programs and micro financing facilities to the disadvantaged groups in the Australian societies would also be effective for reducing the inequalities through facilitating people for getting better jobs or creating employment for their own (Richardson & Denniss, 2014).

Conclusion

It could be concluded from the above change proposal that the focused issues are significantly influential for the overall economic development of Australia and if proper solutions would not be implemented then situations will turn to worst in near future. The recommendations made in this change proposal are expected to be effective for the nation to change the scenario and the assessment of the feasibility proves the effectiveness of the proposed approaches (Ford, 2013). However it should be mentioned that elimination inequality is not only the responsibility of the government of a nation but also people within the nation should give efforts for eliminating it. Thus, people in Australia who have financial and educational abilities for enhancing the condition for disadvantaged groups should give a bit focus for helping the nation to get out of the impact of inequalities (Leigh, 2013). 

References

Beckett, C., (2006) Essential Theory for Social Work Practice. Sage

Bray, J. R. (2014). 18. Changes in Inequality in Australia and the Redistributional Impacts of Taxes and Government Benefits. Measuring and promoting wellbeing: how important is, 423.

Dollman, R., Kaplan, G., La Cava, G., & Stone, T. (2015). Household Economic Inequality in Australia (No. rdp2015-15). Reserve Bank of Australia.

Fenna, A., & Tapper, A. (2015). Economic inequality in Australia: A reassessment. Australian Journal of Political Science, 50(3), 393-411.

Ford, M. (2013). Achievement gaps in Australia: What NAPLAN reveals about education inequality in Australia. Race Ethnicity and Education, 16(1), 80-102.

Leigh, A. (2013). Battlers & billionaires: The story of inequality in Australia. Black Inc..

Martinez Jr, A., Western, M., Tomaszewski, W., & Rampino, T. (2015). Should We Be Concerned about Income Inequality in Australia? An Empirical Investigation of Inequality of Opportunities (No. 2015-19).

Richardson, D., & Denniss, R. (2014). Income and wealth inequality in Australia.

Saunders, P. (2016). Housing costs, poverty and inequality in Australia. Housing Studies, 1-16.

Stiglitz, J. (2014). Inequality: why Australia must not follow the US. The Sydney Morning Herald, 7.

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