The Australian Greens said today that South Australian hearings for the Senate Inquiry into income inequality will focus on issues affecting equality in the state, including the impact of the Government's budget on the most vulnerable members of the community.
The Committee is chaired by Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, who initiated the Inquiry.
"Inequality is a critical social issue, as well as being a matter of fairness, it is also an important economic issue. As the IMF has pointed out recently inequality impacts adversely on productivity," Senator Siewert said today.
"I moved for this inquiry because of growing community concerns about inequality and the Government's approach to policy making in this area. The McClure Review and Commission of Audit have been relatively closed processes, and have not adequately examined the underlying causes of disadvantage or issues around inequality.
"The evidence so far presented to the Inquiry into income inequality indicates that inequality has increased over the last three decades and shown the disproportionate impact of the Government's budget on the most vulnerable members of the community.
"It is important for us to ensure that the specific issues facing people in South Australia are heard," said Senator Siewert.
South Australian Greens Senator Penny Wrights is also participating in today's hearings.
"The gap between the rich and the poor in South Australia is growing - and it's growing faster than ever before," Senator Wright said.
"Everyone knows there are big challenges on the horizon for Adelaide's northern suburbs, where unemployment can be up to three times higher than average.
"I want to know what can be done to address income inequality in South Australia and ensure we have schemes in place to help those workers soon to be affected by the closure of Holden."