Last month, the Christian Democratic Party said mum and dad taxpayers were “the most oppressed Australians in our economy” as same-sex couples earned 29% more.
Two Australian National University researchers explain that the claim is unsubstantiated in an article published on The Conversation today.
Research fellow Edith Gray and research assistant Anna Reimondos looked at 2011 ABS census data and found that gay couples tended to earn more money than straight couples but the 29% figure was unsubstantiated.
Further, “it is hard to see why mums and dads are the most oppressed in the economy”, the researchers reported, noting that “mum and dad taxpayers” with children living at home tended to fare better in terms of after-tax income than many other types of households.
Here’s what they said:
Disposable income is often presented in five quintiles, from the lowest 20% to the highest 20% and adjusted for the number of people and dependents in the household.
Around 15% of couple families with dependent children (99.8% of which are opposite-sex couples according to the census), can be found in the lowest quintile of household disposable income.
This can be compared to 34% of lone parent families who fall into the poorest 20%, and 64% of lone person households where the individual is aged 65+.
Looking at the percentage of families from the census that have an adjusted disposable weekly income of less than $600 a week, there is little difference between same-sex couples with children (9%) and opposite-sex couples with children (7%).
However among single parents, nearly 30% have an adjusted disposable weekly income of less than $600 a week.
The researchers explained that same-sex couples tended to earn more money because it was more common to have both partners working full-time (45% of gay couples versus 22% of opposite-sex couples).
Same-sex couples also tended to have higher education levels and were more likely to be working in managerial and professional occupations, they found.
Compared to opposite-sex couples, gay couples also tended to be younger (just over 75% aged under 50, compared to 54%), and only 12% had a child living with them, compared to 54% of opposite-sex couples.
The analysis is part of The Conversation’s Election FactCheck series. There’s more on The Conversation.
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