Has Australia become a nation where greed is officially good? And the rich are now allowed to take it all?
There are two debates going on at the moment which seem to be about the same core question – should our government further reward the rich or has Australia lost its way when it comes to genuine income equality.
The first debate was triggered by an article the Federal Treasurer, Wayne Swan wrote for The Monthly magazine. This article, titled The 0.01%, discusses what Mr Swan sees as a growing gap between rich and poor in this country and his concerns that billionaire activists – namely Clive Palmer, Andrew Forrest and Gina Rinehart – have disproportionate power and influence because of their wealth. Mr Swan goes on to say that this tiny 0.01% is trying to drown out others and blind the national interest by pouring their considerable personal fortunes into advertising, lobbyists and media. Many in the mining industry have seen this as an attack on all miners, even though that is not the statement in Mr Swan’s article, In fact he notes, “I know that 99% of businesspeople want the best for Australia and that most people want us to remain the nation of the fair go.”
The other debate centres on the determination of Opposition Leader, Tony Abbot, to pursue a $2.7 billion paid parental leave scheme. Some of his own party members have described this as a ‘Rolls Royce’ scheme and expressed concern about supporting this policy when the coalition is currently delaying endorsement of Labor’s National Disability Insurance Scheme.
According to a study conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Australia is the 9th most unequal country when it comes to the rich-poor gap.
Read the full article by Wayne Swan on the rising influence of vested interests in Australia.
Read Daily Life’s article Liberals split on paid parental leave.
Learn more about the need for NDIS at the NDIS website.
Have your say
What do you think? Is the divide between rich and poor growing ever wider? If so, which side are you on? Read Kaye's blog post The rich take all and have your say.
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