Graph showing annual real wages. Source: Report titled Australia’s Global Performance: Falling Behind
Graph showing annual real wages. Source: Report titled Australia’s Global Performance: Falling Behind

How Australia is ‘falling behind’ the world

Labor has collated a data-filled report that it says shows Australia is "falling behind" much of the world under the Liberals, but the federal government says the opposition is merely "dressing up old debunked claims".

Opposition MP Julian Hill, who collated the report titled Australia's Global Performance: Falling Behind, said Australia should be doing better.

"Australia is now less productive, more unequal, more corrupt, less happy, more indebted, less affluent, and less trusting of public institutions than when the Liberal National Party government was elected in 2013," he said.

"As Australia hurtles toward $1 trillion of Liberal debt and a possible federal election this year, Australians have a right to question how well they are doing under Scott Morrison.

"Global rankings show the Liberals mismanaged the economy badly before the COVID pandemic, just as they're now mismanaging the recovery."

Mr Hill said Australia was "lagging badly behind" in jobs recovery - well behind more than 10 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries that had jobless rates below five per cent.

"In 2010, following the global financial crisis, Australia had the fifth best jobs performance in the OECD," he said.

"Yet under Scott Morrison, Australia is languishing at just 18th out of 28 OECD countries."

But a government spokesman said Labor was trying to deflect attention with its report.

"Dressing up old, debunked claims on some glossy paper doesn't make them true and this is an attempt by Labor to deflect attention from the fact they have no plan to tackle the health and economic challenges Australia faces as we emerge from the COVID pandemic," he said.

"Unlike Labor, who are just focused on shoring up Anthony Albanese's job, our attention is laser focused on delivering jobs for Australians through our economic recovery plan.

"Labor have tried to ignore the impacts COVID has had on the economy and think the solution is more than $300 billion in higher taxes.

"They don't understand how we got to where we are, so they don't have a clue how to help Australia get to where we need to go."

Graph showing labour productivity performance of OECD countries in 2018. Source: Report titled Australia’s Global Performance: Falling Behind
Graph showing labour productivity performance of OECD countries in 2018. Source: Report titled Australia’s Global Performance: Falling Behind

Some key points from the report:

  • Real wages in Australia were 0.7 per cent lower in 2019 compared to 2013. Australia is third last out of 35 OECD countries for wage growth
  • In 2013, Australian productivity was growing at 1.7 per cent per year - 10th highest among 34 OECD nations. By 2018, Australia's productivity was negative at -0.3 per cent - ranking fifth last
  • Australia is the third most unaffordable housing market among the OECD
  • Australia's greenhouse gas emissions per capita is the highest in the world
  • The Australian Council for Education Research says Australian children are outperformed by peers in 23 countries in maths, 12 countries in science and 10 countries in reading
  • The average annual student borrowing increased by 36.7 per cent in four years.

Originally published as How Australia is 'falling behind' the world


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