Professor Ross Garnaut AC delivered six webinars in this RESET series. More information on the series is available here.
On Wednesday 10 June, Professor Garnaut delivered lecture #4, Equity to Support Productivity-Raising Reform.
Lecture four discussed the strong pressures towards widening dispersion of incomes and wealth in the twenty first century, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. We have not all been in it together as great sacrifices have been made in the public interest by some but not all Australians.
The pandemic has exacerbated and illuminated inter-generational and gender inequity that is now demanding urgent attention. People in insecure employment on relatively low pay, especially young and female—have carried the greatest cost. The costs have been carried to secure the health and longevity disproportionately of old and male Australians.
Outcomes can be helped greatly by taxation reform that is also helpful to restoration of economic growth and optimal rates of reduction of deficits and debt.
The pandemic has revealed the importance of non-fiscal dimensions of policy to achieve greater equity, starting with the quality of the public health, education and childcare systems.