Barry Leddicoat

Clarence's great dividing wage crisis

NEW wealth distribution figures reveal the widest divide between the Coffs-Clarence region's richest and the rest lies in the Korora-Emerald Beach area.

The top 1% of earners took in 9.3% of the area's total income in 2012-13, according to new Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

Those in the highest 5% wage bracket earned 23.4% of the area's income and the top 10% shared 34.7% of total earnings.

That left nine out of 10 working-age adults with less than two-thirds of the total wealth between them.

As a whole, the Coffs Harbour local government area's top 1% of earners took home 7.4% of the region's income over the same period.

The figure was 6.8% for the Clarence Valley Council area.

The rift may sound deep, but it is less severe than the New South Wales average and on par with Australia as a whole.

NSW emerged as the country's most disproportionate state or territory in terms of wealth distribution, with the top 1% taking home 10.5% of its income.

Sydney recorded the biggest gap of any major city as a whole with 11% of earnings shared among the top one in a hundred earners.

Suburbs Haymarket, The Rocks, Double Bay, Rose Bay and Vaucluse and the Sydney central business district were areas with more than 22% of income going to the top 1%.

The stretch in northern NSW was most evident in Bangalow and Byron Bay (15.7% and 15.8%).

Generally speaking, the chasm between the rich and the rest in the Coffs-Clarence region was shallower than most of the state.

Only 6.7% of total income went to Grafton's richest one-percenters, with Coffs Harbour North and South both sitting about the 8% mark.

The growing gulf between rich and poor is a global phenomenon.

Oxfam last month revealed the world's 62 richest had as much wealth as the poorer half of the world's population.

The report found the wealth of the poorer half of the international population had fallen by a trillion dollars since 2010.

This 38% drop occurred despite the global population increasing by around 400 million people over the five years.

Meanwhile the wealth of the richest 62 increased by more than half a trillion dollars to $1.76 trillion.

Just nine of the 62 are women.


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