Tax the billionaires

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Billionaires like Clive Palmer and Gina Rinehart should start to pull their weight, says Shaun Newman.

I found the actions of two Australian billionaires last week rather disturbing.

Firstly the buying of shares By Ms Gina Reinhart in the Fairfax organization to increase her influence in those newspapers, and secondly the rumour surrounding Clive Palmer that he also would seek to move from mining magnate to media mogul, I found disturbing.

The media in Australia is already quite conservative; to seek to move it more so to the political right says two things to me:

  1. That these two Australians do not trust their fellow conservative Australians to prosecute their case properly, which I reject.

  2. That they seek to push Australian politics even further to the right, which would see this nation in a similar position to the USA where the leading Republican candidate multi-millionaire Mitt Romney has recently said that he does not care about “the very poor” as they were not his concern.

  3. Australia has always been a nation that is empathetic toward the most vulnerable people in our society and who do care for our less well-off and elderly people.

    These two people are rich, and good on them, they have had fortunate lives. To be asked to pay a percentage of your income in taxation is a privilege that all working Australians should relish. To participate in the building of a relatively young nation, such as ours, should be something that all people, including these two billionaires, should take pride in doing. The workforce of 8 million P.A.Y.E Australians continues to contribute on a weekly or fortnightly basis without complaint.

    A new video has been released by GetUp which shows a meeting of the Australian mining industry with the so-called Lord Monckton, which appears to show that these mega-rich people want to alter the Australian media in a way that excuses them from paying their fair share of taxes.

    There is no secret that the wealthy do not like contributing their share — they never have. We, though, as a population have insisted that they continue to contribute. Perhaps as a way to show these people that we mean business we could look at restricting their access to the minerals they seek to exploit if they are not willing to pay a fair price for that access.

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