A report by major Australian bank ANZ has concluded that introducing same-sex marriage in Australia could inject a potential AU$1billion ($710,000/€630,000) in to the Australian economy in the first year following any change in the law.
The report said that small businesses in particular may benefit – especially those catering directly for weddings.
However, the benefits wouldn’t end there. It says that there would be other economic boosts from international visitors increasingly viewing the country as liberal, progressive and welcoming.
Longer-term, there would be an economic benefit through the improved well-being that marriage has been noted to confer on individuals; Married couples are more likely to offer insurance to one another against sudden losses of income, while a reduction in discrimination also impacts positively on levels of stress and depression among LGB people.
The report’s authors think that there would be a rush of weddings in the first 12 months before demand settles down. It estimates that this could result in a spend of AU$500million ($355,000/€315,000), but says such a figure, if anything, is conservative, and that if half of Australia’s same-sex couples were to take advantage of any new legislation, then the economic boost could be as much as AU$1billion ($710,000/€630,000).
It based its figures on an average wedding spend of AU$51,000 ($36,000/€32,000) per couple. It did not include potential honeymoon expenditure.
A report published in early June reached a slightly lower figure. Fairfax Media, estimating that there are some 33,700 same-sex couples in Australia, said that the introduction of same-sex marriage could result in a spend of AU$1.2billion ($860,000/€760,000) on weddings should all those couples choose to marry (or AU$600,000/$430,000/€380,000 if half of them were to marry).
The ANZ report was co-authored by ANZ statisticians, Cherelle Murphy & Mandeep Kaur. Its findings were welcomed by Rodney Croome, National Director of Australia Marriage Equality.
‘Any government that wants to improve the economy, boost small business and create jobs should support marriage equality.
‘We call on the Turnbull Government to move quickly on marriage equality to stem the tide of same-sex couples marrying overseas and ensure the wedding spend of Australian same-sex couples boosts business and jobs in Australia.’
Australia’s new Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has previously said that he supported introducing same-sex marriage. However, since taking power last month, he has said that he intends to stick to his predecessor, Tony Abbott’s plan to settle the matter through a public referendum or plebiscite sometime after the next election.