Australian incomes are going backwards because of record-high immigration and surging mortgage rates as elevated inflation causes pay levels to drop.
Since Prime Minister Anthony Albanese came to power, after-tax income for every household has fallen by 5.1 per cent – making it the worst plunge among developed nations.
Soaring inflation means workers are suffering a cut in real wages while the Reserve Bank’s 13 interest rate rises in 18 months have eroded the savings of those with a mortgage.
Australian borrowers are also much more likely to be on a variable rate, which means central bank rate rises cause more pain compared with other rich nations.
Record immigration levels are also fuelling Australia’s housing crisis, with more than 400,000 net overseas arrivals in the year to August and a population growth pace of 2.2 per cent that is among the highest in the rich world.
Real household gross disposable income per capita plunged by 5.1 per cent in Australia during the last financial year, an analysis of OECD data by The Australian Financial Review found.
Australian incomes are going backwards because of record-high immigration and surging mortgage rates as elevated inflation causes pay levels to drop (pictured are pedestrians in Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall)
Since Prime Minister Anthony Albanese came to power, after-tax income for every household has fallen by 5.1 per cent – making it the worst plunge among developed nations (he is pictured at the Pacific Islands Forum in the Cook Islands)
By comparison Canada, another nation with high immigration levels, saw its per capita income levels fall by 1.5 per cent in the year to June.
The United States, which has a much lower immigration and population growth rate, saw its disposal income levels rise by 3.5 per cent.
AMP chief economist Shane Oliver said the strongest population growth since the 1950s was hurting Australians financially.
‘In recent times, it’s been excessive,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘We’ve been seeing the fastest population growth since the early 1950s.
‘The problem is when you’ve got strong population growth and an inflation problem at the same time, it just adds to inflation.
‘The average person may feel the weight of higher interest rates, cost of living pressures – when you’ve got more people in total coming into the country, it pushes demand up.’
Economist Saul Eslake, the principal of Corinna Economic Advisory, agreed high immigration levels in Australia were contributing to inflation.
‘Population growth is certainly contributing to inflationary pressures,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘It’s contributing to inflation of both rental and home purchase costs.
‘Migrants who come here will demand various services as they will demand various goods, so they spend money.’
High inflation also means Australian workers are suffering a 1.8 per cent cut in real wages because the 5.4 per cent inflation rate is significantly higher than the 3.6 per cent increase in wages.
‘Wages have been more of a contributor to inflation in those countries than they have been in Australia,’ Mr Eslake said.
‘Real wages haven’t fallen by as much in those countries as they have done in Australia.’
The Reserve Bank of Australia this month raised interest rates for the 13th time in 18 months, taking the cash rate to a 12-year high of 4.35 per cent.
But this is still lower than Canada’s 5 per cent level and the US rate of 5.25 per cent to 5.5 per cent.
Mr Eslake said Australian interest rates were lower than other rich-world nations because a higher proportion of borrowers had a variable rate, which meant central bank rate rises would have more of an immediate effect, compared with nations where fixed rates are more common.
‘Most other countries that are relevant comparisons – fixed rate loans are much more common,’ he said.
Soaring inflation means workers are suffering a cut in real wages while the Reserve Bank’s 13 interest rate rises in 18 months have eroded the savings of those with a mortgage (pictured is a Sydney auction)
Economist Saul Eslake, the principal of Corinna Economic Advisory, agreed high immigration levels in Australia were contributing to inflation
Australia’s household debt to income ratio of 197.6 per cent is also the highest in the world, after Switzerland.
The surge in mortgage rates has seen mortgage rates rise at a faster pace than bank savings interest levels.
‘The interest paid by borrowers has risen much faster than the interest received by depositors,’ Mr Eslake said.
‘The second thing is the significant decline in net interest income because interest paid has risen by much more than interest received.’
The proportion of personal income tax, as a proportion of gross household income excluding investment property and small business income, in the June quarter was also at the highest level since the September quarter of 1998.
‘Partly, it’s people being pushed into higher tax brackets but it’s also that the proportion of who are working is at a record high,’ Mr Eslake said.
In the year to March, real household disposable income fell by four per cent, the biggest drop since the June quarter of 1983 when Australia was in a deep recession.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk