On 18 June 2014, the Senate referred the following matter to the Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report.
The Terms of Reference are:
- the extent of income inequality in Australia and the rate at which income inequality is increasing in our community;
- the impact of income inequality on access to health, housing, education and work in Australia, and on the quality of the outcomes achieved;
- the specific impacts of inequality on disadvantaged groups within the community, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, older job seekers, people living with a disability or mental illness, refugees, single parents, those on a low income, people at risk of poverty in retirement as well as the relationship between gender and inequality;
- the likely impact of Government policies on current and future rates of inequality particularly the changes proposed in the 2014-15 Budget;
- the principles that should underpin the provision of social security payments in Australia; and
- the practical measures that could be implemented by Governments to address inequality, particularly appropriate and adequate income support payments.
Submissions were sought by 22 August 2014. The reporting date is 26 November 2014. On 24 November 2014, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 2 December 2014.