Young Australians facing lifetime of inequality

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Research out today has emphasised the immense challenges facing our young people as they navigate the COVID recession.

The Mind the Gap – the Australian Actuaries Intergenerational Equity Index report highlights the pre-existing inequality facing young Australians, particularly in economic and housing measures.

The report found the gap between generations is at a 20 year high, and it is increasingly likely that young Australians will grow up to be worse off than previous generations.

The research found younger people were struggling with declining incomes and underutilisation in the workforce pre-pandemic, whilst government support was skewed towards older generations.

It found home ownership for the 25 – 34 year old age group has fallen from 51 to 37 per cent over the past two decades, but remained stable for older Australians.

The report commented that these inequalities have persisted during COVID – with younger people more likely to lose income during the pandemic, but less likely to quality for government assistance like JobKeeper.

Another report released by the Consumer Policy Research Centre has put into focus the mounting personal debt being accrued by young Australians.

Surveyed young people were three times as likely to have taken a loan from a payday lender in July just to get by, and two to three times more likely to have missed a household bill payment.

Housing affordability was also a significant issue, with around half of surveyed young renters concerned about their ability to pay their landlords in July.

Both sets of research highlight the monumental uphill battle faced by young Australians, both in the short and long term.

It is clear that the many interrelated economic and social challenges facing our young people cannot be addressed in isolation.

If young people are to avoid a lifetime of inequality, the Morrison Government must urgently provide leadership and a plan for young Australians.

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