There’s one quick way to bolster the Australian economy: legalise gay marriage

Graham Cooke 20 September 2016

How introducing marriage equality could save the Australian economy.

With gay marriage now legal in twenty-one countries, including across the conservative United States, it feels like Australia is very much behind the times in holding out. The federal government has approved a plebiscite for 2017, but with Labor and the Greens looking to block the motion, the future of equal rights for the LGBT community is still uncertain. However, with the world economy still unsteady and the mining boom over, both Labor and the LNP are keen to see the country’s budget return to surplus. Would legalising gay marriage help?

shutterstock_115334461

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission estimate that the average spend on a wedding in Australia is $36,200, and the current adult population of Australia is just over 18 million. Roy Morgan Research reveals that 3.4% of Australians identify as homosexual. This means there are over 616,000 gay people in the country. Presumably many of them would like to get married, and some have been waiting to tie the knot for years.

Assuming a fairly conservative 10% of this population decide to wed within two years of legalisation, this would be the equivalent of over 30,000 couples, spending a total of $1.1 billion dollars. The extra spend would no doubt fuel the wedding industry and create many new jobs for celebrants, hotels and venues, bakeries, photographers, musicians, event managers and many more. To keep things simple, let’s look at GST alone.

new-piktochart_16302417_341469e1854b24c03e1a702839b2df509b5a222e

With GST currently sitting at 10% and applying to most goods and services sold in Australia, these extra weddings would create an easy $112 million in government income before any other positive economic effects are taken into account. This would be enough to fund the climate commission, closed in 2013 due to budget constraints, for 447 years. It would pay the salaries of over 1,000 nurses (or 280 MPs) for two years. It would also (almost) cover the cost of a plebiscite.

We already know from multiple polls that the vast majority of Australians support marriage equality. This is a call to Australian politicians - it’s time to negotiate, it’s time to make the difficult decisions without resorting to the easy-but-expensive plebiscite option. If you’re not going to do it for Australia’s gay community, then at least do it for the Australian economy.

Graham Cooke's Insights Blog examines issues affecting the Australian consumer. It appears regularly on finder.com.au.

Recent Insights blogs

More great ideas from finder.com.au

Get a life insurance quote
Get a life insurance quote

Find out what it costs to protect yourself and your family

More info...
Refinancing home loans
Refinancing home loans

Choose from offers with rates as low as 3.39% p.a.

More info...
Google Pixel
Google Pixel

Compare plans for Google's flagship Android phone

More info...
Christmas ideas
Christmas ideas

Visit our Christmas homepage for gift ideas, markets, travel & deals

More info...

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At finder.com.au we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to finder.com.au and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

Ask a question
feedback