New Study Trashes Hockey’s Claim on Petrol and the Poor
Research from the Australia Institute has trashed Joe Hockey’s claim that poor people don’t have cars, or don’t have far to travel if they do.
In fact, the lowest-income earners in Australia spend the greatest amount on petrol as a proportion of their income, trashing claims by Joe Hockey that the increase in fuel tax is “progressive” because the wealthiest pay more.
The figures released by Joe Hockey’s office on car ownership and spending on petrol circulated did not include any examination of the spending as a proportion of income, which would indicate how much of an impact it would have on family budgets.
However, the Australia Institute found the lowest-earning group paid more than three times the proportion of their income on petrol as the highest group.
The study replicated Hockey’s figures that the lowest-earning 20% of households paid an average of $16.36 per week on petrol in 2009-10, rising to $53.87 for the highest-earning 20% of households.
But when expressed as a percentage of mean income for those same groups, the petrol spending represented 4.54% of income for the lowest-earning households but only 1.37% for the highest-earning ones.