The rich take all

Has Australia become a nation where greed is officially good? And the rich are now allowed to take it all? It seems that way to me.

Has Australia become a nation where greed is officially good? And the rich are now allowed to take it all? It seems that way to me.

In Wayne Swan’s article on The 0.01%, he quotes President Obama’s concern that rising inequality is the defining issue of our time.

And unless you have been living under a rock, you would have to agree that this is the case in Australia as well.

Take the mining tax, now known as the Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT), due to start on July 1 this year. Despite the hysteria from the mining sector and a $20 million advertising campaign against it, this tax will only be levied on companies AFTER they have achieved $75 million in profit. The proceeds will go directly to reduce company tax, allowing all employers to contribute higher amounts of super guarantee levy so ALL Australians will benefit – adding an extra $138,000 over a lifetime to each individual’s retirement nest egg.

In simple terms, this is redistribution of wealth.

In last year’s BRW rich list, Gina Rinehart became the first person to break through the $10 billion mark.

So we have a tax on those organisations making a profit in excess than $75 million, including Ms. Rinehart’s company, so that ordinary Australians will have an extra $138,000 for the approximately thirty years they will spend in retirement.

Sounds fair to me.

But what does not sound fair is the proposed parental leave scheme which is, indeed, Rolls Royce. And it is so called because it is NOT based on an attempt to share wealth, it is based on the idea that the MORE you earn, the MORE you will be paid to take time out of the workforce to spend time with your child.

This is middle class welfare at its worst and I don’t see why Australians on low or fixed incomes, with shrinking retirement savings, should need to contribute to the households of the wealthy

Now I don’t know about you, but when we had our children, we had to save beforehand in order to afford the privilege. My time off was not funded by the government or an employer, but from our own savings. Australian parents now benefit from generous tax breaks and payments when a child is born. Enough is enough. Let’s look after the truly needy – the Age Pensioners living below poverty levels - and not rich young things who want to be paid to become parents. Treasurer Swan is right. The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and it is the role of government to stop this gap from widening and, wherever possible, reverse this long-term trend.

What say you? Has Australia become a nation of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’? Were we in previous generations a more egalitarian society, or was this just a myth?

Is the gap between the rich and the poor wider than is used to be?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    10th Mar 2012
    When we refer to the rich are we referring to individuals or companies/organisations. If we are referring to individuals and include the new "wealthy middle-class, are we being a bit unfair? I grew up in a blue collar environment with a single parent working to support 5 children. I completed an apprenticeship and worked in a trade for a number of years. I got married and had 2 children and was paying off a mortgage. I went to University because I wanted something better. My wife worked had to support me while I was at Uni. while I worked nights as well. There was no such thing a paid maternity leave then, I never got, or was entitled to any of the bonuses paid to "eligible" families such as First home buyers scheme etc. Even though I was at the time working as a tradesman prior to going to University.
    I recently retired on a salary over the K100. I feel that I earned it, was entitled to it and I paid the highest rate of tax for it as well. As for the really rich, unfortunately they are a necessary evil as it it they who employ the majority of us. Yes they wield a far bit of power, have a bank of smart Accountants and Solicitors to help them pay minimal tax. I emphasise with the struggling families who are trying to make a go of it but scorn those who are just the whiners who have nothing because they have done nothing about their circumstances but cast envious eyes on those who have or are in the process of lifting ther lifestyle.

    11th Mar 2012
    As a single woman who has worked all her life and never asked or received anything so far from the government purse (meaning handouts) I get very upset that I cannot afford to either buy my own home and find renting increasingly harder. What do I do when I retire, resort to sleeping on a park bench. I'm all for profits and working hard but we the people are struggling under the weight of a growing bureaucracy feeding off our hard earned money to support themselves. Small business people who not only put their heart and soul into their businesses but put their homes on the line are being stretched to breaking point. Anger is growing as we see no change in the way we conduct our affairs following the GFC and the fat cats who trade in paper only not hard word are still getting richer and richer .
    No-one wants a free ride but we want a fair go
    Take note politicians- you're there to manage our money and country for the good of all - put your party politics aside and can someone p,ease step up to the plate and show how it should be . Let's make those changes and be at the forefront is a better system of government. Let's not just follow the same old methods that are not working but clearly pitting sections of the community against each other that could have dire consequences.

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