Sunrise host thinks people on $180,000 a year aren’t rich
Popular Sunrise host Samantha Armytage has received backlash from some viewers after agreeing with Scott Morrison that people earning $180,000 a year aren’t rich.
The comment came in the wake of the recent budget release, that favours wealthier Australians at the expense of others. Prime Minister Scott Morrison defended the tax cuts for high income earners, arguing that FIFO workers deserve to pay less tax because they work hard, and aren’t rich for earning $180,000 a year.
Armytage agreed. “It depends where you live in Australia as to whether or not you are wealthy on that, in Sydney probably not,” she said on Sunrise on Thursday morning. “$180,000 sounds like a lot but these FIFO workers make huge sacrifices. They are often the sole income earner, (have) a couple of kids, a mortgage.”
These comments have been criticised as being ‘out of touch’ with Australia, and seems to suggest that high income FIFO workers work harder than the rest of us.
“If you’re earning $180,000 you’re in the top four per cent of income or thereabouts,” Ben Phillips, associate professor at the Australian National University, told news.com.au.
So, it’s fair to say that this comment may feel like a slap in the face to many Australians. It’s also good to keep on mind that Armytage is one of Australia’s highest paid TV hosts, earning a whopping $500,000 a year according to news.com.au.
In Australia, an average man earns $1,958.30 a week and an average women earns $1,751.31 a week before tax. The mining industry has the highest average weekly earnings of $2,697.50 a week. In the light of the budget’s tax cuts, which lowered taxes for the mining industry, it may be right to ask just how the industry benefits the average Australian. If we don’t enjoy any of the tax benefits or high wages, and the industry isn’t supporting public health care or education through tax, then who is it really helping?
Some of the morning show’s viewers took to social media to share their discontent.
“Most Australians are living in poverty, with a median income of $60K. Except for overpaid people on TV,” wrote one commentator.
“The suggestion that FIFO workers work hard and make sacrifices somehow devalues so many others in the workforce who do the same in different ways,” wrote another.
“Interesting that the presenter claims that the poor man earning “only” $180pa might be the sole income earner at home … he wouldn’t have to be if women had better chances of even getting a job.” This commentator’s words strike true for many Australians, during the time of COVID-19, when we have disproportionately seen women be affected by job losses and additional responsibilities.
Do you think Armytage’s comments are out of touch? Do you consider people earning $180,000 a year to be rich? How did you feel about the federal budget?