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Tuesday, 11 October 2016
Page: 1524

Senator WHISH-WILSON (Tasmania) (18:51): I still do not understand, Senator Cormann, why you did not use median income—why the Treasurer did not use median incomes. I am sure you understand; you have a good grasp of numbers and finance, and you have some very good people working for you who are around you today. Most experts would agree that median income is actually a better representation of the middle class in terms of groupings. Averages can be distorted by very large numbers. Of course, there are a large number of high-income earners in this country—all who, I may say, are going to receive this tax cut—that distort the numbers. I am going, I must admit, on 2014-15 figures. So, if you have other numbers there, I would certainly be interested to see those. All that was available to me were the ABS numbers from 2014-15. You may not be aware, Senator Cormann, that the average income for a full-time wage was $80,000 and $69,000, including part-time, where the median income was significantly lower. Why wouldn't you use median income as a better indicator for middle-income Australians?