Age Bias in the Australian Welfare State
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This paper uses Australian Bureau of Statistics fiscal incidence figures to track trends across the period 1984 to 2010 in one key aspect of the Australian welfare state — whether welfare policies have favoured the elderly at the expense of the young. Our three main findings are: that there has been a substantial shift over this period in favour of the elderly; that this trend has accelerated rapidly in recent years; and that as a result of this accelerated trend, elderly households today are on average well off by comparison with younger households. We see little influence of party politics or ideology on the processes we are describing.
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