Jan 2019 | All flexibility, no security: why conservative thinktanks are wrong on the gig economy

Date: 24 Jan 2019

Source: The Guardian

The release on Wednesday of a Treasury department discussionpaper on how to tax those who work in the share economy of Uber and Aribnb and the like puts a focus on how those who often earn below award rates gain little benefit from the flexibility of being treated as individual contractors, compared to the companies that reap profits from such earnings. The discussion comes as new figures from the bureau of statistics highlight how little the earnings of middle income Australia has risen over the past two years – the same group who will benefit least from the government income tax cuts.

The latest release of the biennial survey of employee earnings and hours by the bureau of statistics gives us greater detail of how much people earn and how large (or small) their rise in earning has been over the past two years.

Whenever politicians talk about income tax we know that they like to confuse average (mean) and median to suit their purposes. The data from the ABS released on Tuesday found that the average weekly earnings of all employees in May 2018 was $1,288.70 – translating to $67,012 a year. This was a 4.7% increase from May 2016 when the average earnings for all workers was $63,996 a year: