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Dick Smith calls on wealthy Australians to pay more tax


One of the country’s richest and most successful businessmen claims wealthy Australians “could and should” pay more tax after the federal government announced that people with pensions above $3 million would lose tax breaks.

Australians with more than $3 million in their retirement accounts will now see their favorable tax rate double from 1 July 2025, in a move expected to save the budget $2 billion a year.

Labor said the pension costs the budget $50 billion and the move is expected to affect less than 0.5 per cent of all Australians with a super account.

Famed entrepreneur Dick Smith has since said rich people should pay more because the “country needs money”.

“It’s a great country, it has incredible education, roads, military, everything and it needs money to pay for that and we’re in big debt, and we should pay off the debt and not let our children do that in the future,” he told 2GB on Tuesday.

When asked if retirement was ‘sacred’ by Ben Fordham, Mr Smith said no.

Mr Smith said it was “ridiculous” for someone to have $544 million in his super fund.

“You don’t actually need $500 million to retire,” the entrepreneur said.

“I’m just saying that rich people like me… I’ve always said we should pay a little more in taxes.

“The rich can pay a little more tax so that we can pay back part of the debt and not have to pay our children and grandchildren.”

The average retirement balance is about $150,000. And of the 80,000 people with more than $3 million in their account, the average is about $6 million.

Mr Smith said the government should not target mothers and fathers and that “typical wage earners” should pay less tax.

However, he said the wealthy can afford to pay 15 percent more.

“We have 100 billionaires in this country, they are the most greedy of them all … they constantly complain about the taxes they have to pay when they can easily afford it,” he said.

Mr Smith became one of the richest men in Australia after successfully growing his electronics business from $610 in 1968 to $1.4 billion in 2014.

The opposition has accused Labor of being “troublesome” as the change in the favorable tax rates – from 15 per cent to 30 per cent – will not take effect until 2025-26, after the next election.

Shadow treasurer Angus Taylor said the government had completely ignored Australians.

“Obviously this has been rushed out, but what is also clear is that when the Labor Party runs out of money, it will come after yours,” he said.

“I am confident that we will see much more of this from the PvdA.

“This is a Labor party that wants to spend your money and will have to tax all Australians to do so.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said it was a “significant reform” that did not change the foundations of the pension system, but made it more sustainable for the future.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.