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Real wages in the electorate of Flynn declined by a cumulative total of 12.15% between 2012-13 and 2016-17, according to new analysis of Australian Tax Office data by the Centre for Future Work.
Average wages across the electorate, as reported on residents’ personal income tax returns, declined by 1.26% per year over that period – well behind Queensland’s average 1.99% annual increase in the state’s consumer prices.
· Flynn is one of 12 marginal electorates in Queensland where real wages began falling after the 2012-13 financial year.
· On a national basis wages grew slower than previously reported in ABS data, with average wages across Australia growing just 1.7% per year between 2012-13 (when the wage slowdown took hold) and 2016-17 (most recent tax data available) and slower than the 1.9% annual growth in national consumer prices over this period.
· Queensland and Western Australia – home to some of the most tightly contested electorates in the current federal election - suffered an especially dramatic wage slowdown.
“Our analysis confirms that the wages crisis in Australia has been even worse than conventional ABS statistics suggested,” said Dr. Jim Stanford, Economist and Director of the Centre for Future Work, and author of the report.
“Wages everywhere in Australia have performed very poorly, but some regions have been especially hard-hit. The electorate of Flynn has been among the hardest hit of anywhere in the country,” Stanford added.
“Perhaps it is not a coincidence that some of the tightest contests in the current federal election are precisely in those communities where real wages have declined the most.
“The ATO statistics allow calculation of wage trends by electorate – a level of detail that is not possible with other data sources. Public anger over cost-of-living issues is justified, given this hard evidence that real wages in these communities have fallen.”