I don’t know if you’ve realised or not, but there’s an opinion poll in the wings. A beautiful rainbow coloured one. The implications of which could have long lasting effects on the economy. So when you’re expressing your opinion, think carefully. If you think teachers deserve more money, vote yes. Want more funding for our health system? Then the affirmative is your only option. Worried about the mental health of our farmers? Care about pensioners, those with disabilities or the unemployed? Tick yes. Tick yes. Tick yes.
The media keeps portraying the marriage equality vote as a social one. And it is. And you should get on-board. But it’s also an economic one and here’s why.
In the 2016 census, 46,800 couples identified as being in same sex relationships. For simplicity, we’ll round up to an 50k. If you assume about half of those would marry if they were allowed to, then that’s 25,000 weddings on the cards. That’s a lot, even for Linda Wolfe. Now if you assume an average wedding cost of 50,000 dollars, you are looking at a 1.25 billion dollar boost to the economy. 1.25 billion dollars. Remember, one persons spending is another persons income…
But that’s not all.
Gay people, like straight people have friends living overseas. According to statistics I just made up, for an average Australian wedding, there are typically 4 overseas guests in attendance. Tourism Australia writes a lot about the average spend of a tourist whilst on our shores, and from a study done a few years ago they estimated it being around 4,500 dollars per person. 25,000 weddings times 4 guests times 4,500 dollars…. That’s another 450 million dollars in extra money flowing into our economy. 450 million dollars.
But wait. There’s more.
Right now, if you’re a same-sex couple living in Australia, wanting to get married, your only choice is to go overseas. Given New Zealand is just down the road, many are choosing to to make the voyage there for some legal love. In fact, last year alone 270 couples from Australia did exactly that. Presumably they wanted to do so in front of many of their friends and family. If we conservatively estimate that 40 of their dearly beloved came along, and each of those people spent the 4,500 dollars our tourism board estimates whilst vacationing, that’s nearly 50 million dollars in spending which has been divered to New Zeland rather than Australia. 50 million dollars.
There’s still mo-ore.
New Zealand didn’t just wed 270 Australian couples last year. They also joined 80 Chinese couples and 20 couples each from the US and the UK in holy matrimony. Plus another 80 odd from the rest of the world. Obviously, no one really wants to go to New Zealand. Their ex Prime Minster pulls girls hair and its politicians get clobbered in the face with dildos on a regular basis. Interesting perhaps, but it’s not exactly comparable to a visit to the MCG or a swim at Bondi Beach. So, if Australia were to legailise same sex marriage, there is no question we would replace New Zealand as the overseas marriage destination of choice. That’s 50 million dollars more.
And finally, the steak knives
So far we’ve looked at money spent on the weddings themselves and the potential tourist dollars to be earned from them. But guests don’t turn up to weddings empty handed… Inevitably there’s a gift register, filled with a bunch of things no-one would ever buy the couple if they actually had the choice. Nonetheless, there’s a gift register. What people spend on the registry will vary widely from person to person, so let’s underestimate the average at 50 dollars per person. 25,000ish weddings, with 100 people in attendance for each, where each purchases a 50 dollar gift of the registry. 125 million dollars.
That’s a lot of money
If you add all of that up, you get a number of around 1.9 billion dollars. That is 1.9 billion dollars in additional spending. Which inevitably means 1.9 billion dollars in additional income, because one person’s spending is another person’s income. If you assume an average tax rate of 30%, that is an extra 630 million dollars in taxation revenue to the government. 630 million dollars. That is a lot of extra money in their coffers. It’s a lot of extra money which can be spent to pay our teachers more. It’s money which can be funneled towards making education more affortable. It’s additional funding for the arts. For infrastructure projects. For mental health. For disability care.
Legalising same-sex marriage will provide a massive boost to our economy and provide the government with additional tax revenue which they can use to provide more of the services which you so badly want. So if doing the right thing doesn’t get you across the line in this opinon poll, hopefully the economics of the stiuation will.
Anyway, that’s 5 minutes. Hope it helped.
Categories: Macro Economics