KPMG Australia welcomes the opportunity to provide a submission to Treasury on its Measuring What Matters consultation (the consultation).

A national wellbeing framework

KPMG welcomes the Federal Government’s plan to establish a comprehensive national framework to measure wellbeing (national framework), and reporting on this through a Measuring What Matters statement, in order to improve understanding of Australian economy and society, and support more informed policy making. Incorporating social and environmental outcomes is a critical part of this.

KPMG has examined this concept in detail and prepared a framework covering 11 areas as detailed in this submission ranging from education, health (including mental health and addiction), living standards, environment, governance and housing. KPMG’s proposed indicators can also be looked at through different lenses – such as gender, age, income quintile, or Indigeneity – to provide further insights into inequality in Australia.

Wellbeing indicators in the Australian community

Treasury has referenced the OECD Framework for Measuring Well-being and Progress as a good starting point for thinking about Australian wellbeing standards, while also noting its limitations in data and coverage. KPMG’s proposed framework could complement the OECD Framework and be adopted as part of a central set of indicators in Australia

A national framework should evolve over time, and KPMG recommends a staged approach to ensure Australia’s Measuring What Matters statement is comprehensive and effective in achieving its objectives.

There are a number of countries that have already implemented similar frameworks, often called wellbeing budgets, and KPMG considers Australia’s framework should seek to align with existing international models, such as New Zealand’s model or other countries part of the Wellbeing Economy Governments partnership (WEGo). Alignment to international models also enables Australia to benchmark ourselves with other countries to measure progress.

If you would like to discuss the contents of this submission further, please do not hesitate to reach out.