The Direct Measure of Income (DMI) Refinement Working Group (Working Group) was established to provide advice on how new data could be used to explore possible refinements to the DMI methodology. This work was undertaken in partnership with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australian Taxation Office, Department of Social Services, key non-government sector representatives and an independent academic expert.
The Working Group undertook three projects: estimating income for parents with missing income data, alternative statistical measures and equivalising income for family size. The analysis undertaken did not support a case for a change to the DMI methodology but did identify some sensible enhancements to data sources used in the calculation of the DMI.
As whole of government data is expected to grow and expand in the coming years, further work will be undertaken to explore how innovations in the use and availability of additional data could be used to ensure the DMI continues to be the most robust and accurate measure of a school community’s capacity to financially contribute towards the school’s operating costs.
Analysis undertaken by the ABS, along with the Communique for each Working Group meeting is available below.