Inequality, Tax and Welfare

Free Public Lecture

Inequality, Tax and Welfare

Medley Theatre
Redmond Barry Building


More information

Professor Miranda Stewart, Professor Roger Wilkins and Mr Troy Henderson will examine the evidence and consider our current tax and welfare policy settings.

Australia’s progressive income tax has been very effective in raising revenue and enabling redistribution over the last century. But it may not tax capital income and savings enough and avoids taxing wealth or inheritance.

Alongside this, our social security system is highly targeted, but tight income tests and conditions mean many low income people slip through the net. Only half of families with children receive financial support, a steep decline since the 1980s. Could more universal benefits, or even a universal basic income, be a better way to go?

Is income and wealth inequality on the rise in Australia, and, if so, is this a problem? Certainly, our progressive taxation system and our social security and transfer systems have achieved a significant reduction in inequality of disposable income for Australian households. But if inequality is rising is it time for a re-think? Can we do better?

This lecture is part of the 'Talking About Economic Inequality' Lecture Series run by the Melbourne School of Government.


  • Mr Troy Henderson
    Mr Troy Henderson, Economist, Centre for Future Work
  • Professor Roger Wilkins
    Professor Roger Wilkins, Professor at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research
  • Professor Miranda Stewart
    Professor Miranda Stewart, Melbourne Law School