COVID, Inequality and Poverty in 2020 & 2021

This report shows how poverty and inequality were dramatically reduced in 2020, but have increased ever since.

From the Australian Council of Social Service and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney Poverty and Inequality Partnership it shows that during the first ‘Alpha’ wave of COVID-19 in 2020, Australia halved poverty and significantly reduced income inequality, thanks to a raft of Commonwealth Government crisis support payments introduced to help people survive the first lockdown.

In the ‘Alpha’ wave, the Coronavirus Supplement and JobKeeper support payments played a crucial role in reducing both income inequality and poverty during the deepest recession in 90 years. Despite an effective unemployment rate of 17 per cent at the time, many people on the lowest incomes could afford to pay their rent and household bills and feed themselves properly for the first time in years.

Build Back Fairer Series

This is the third in the ACOSS and UNSW Sydney Poverty and Inequality Partnership’s COVID-19 Build Back Fairer Series. You can read reports one and two in the series.

Email Your MP

As a part of the Raise the Rate for Good campaign ACOSS is encouraging readers of this report to send it to their Federal MP.

You can do this here.


Click the image to read the COVID, Inequality and Poverty in 2020 & 2021 report.