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Who are very low to moderate income earners?

Definitions of what is meant by very low, low and moderate incomes are enshrined in Section 13 of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing) 2021, and are as follows:

People on a very low income are those earning less than 50% of the NSW or Sydney median income, depending on where they live[1]. They include workers in a range of lower paid occupations, particularly in areas such as retail or manufacturing, as well as people earning the minimum wage[2] or who are on an aged or disability pension or other government benefit.

People on a low income are those earning more than 50% but less than 80% of the NSW or Sydney median income. They include many people working in jobs such as a child care worker, secretary or cleaner.

People described as being on a moderate income are those earning between 80-120% of the NSW or Sydney median income. They may include people working in occupations such as teaching, policing or nursing, particularly if they are in earlier stages of their careers.[3]

[1]  The 2021 ABS Census data found that the median income in Sydney is $2,077 per week ($108,004 per annum). For NSW it is $1829 ($95,108 per annum). These figures are updated each Census.

[2] From 1 July 2023, the national minimum wage is $882.80 based on a week of 38 ordinary hours ($23.23 per hour and $45,905.60 per annum). Generally, employees in the national system shouldn't get less than this. (For more information, go to the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website.

[3] Income figures for various job types in this section are derived from AHURI Final Report No. 355 “Housing key workers: scoping challenges, aspirations, and policy responses for Australian cities” Published 27 May 2021 and authored by Catherine Gilbert, Zahra Nasreen, Nicole Gurran

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Last updated: 10 Apr 2024