It’s easy to be generous with other people’s money

What a Dick Smith.

Hot on the heals of his complaint about receiving $500,000 in franking credit refunds, Dick Smith is now suggesting that the NewStart allowance should be increased by $75 per week.  Boy oh boy is Dick generous.

According to Dick, receiving $500,000 in franking credits refunds is an:

“outrageous” use of taxpayers’ money that should be subject to a means test..

If it is so outrageous, please tell us Dick whether you have returned any of this money a voluntary contribution to the ATO?    But Dick said also:

That’s wrong, I said – I’m wealthy. My accountant said ‘that’s how it works, that’s what you have to do’. I can’t stop it. I think it’s outrageous for wealthy people to be getting money from the government.

You can’t stop it?  Really?  Instruct your accountant to not claim the refund.  That’s how you stop it.

But now, having been force fed money against his will, Dear Dick wants NewStart increased:

It’s not what this country is about and the government knows what it should do to fix it. Raising Newstart by $75 a week would cost $3 billion a year — that’s less than a third of the cost of the government’s tax cuts for high-income earners. In fact, wealthy people like me could easily pay additional tax to cover the $3bn required.

$3 billion a year.  Chicken feed.  But this is the neat bit.  It’s apparently less than a third of the cost of the government’s tax cuts for high-income earners.

Putting aside the whole tax cuts aren’t a cost argument, such lines are really easy to make by someone who based on his $500,000 franking credit refund does not actually pay income tax and who would not actually benefit from this (not tax cut but) return of inflation.  Boy this Dick is very generous with other people’s money.

There is no doubt that living on NewStart is difficult.  But if you want to improve the lives of these people and their financial lot in life, perhaps you might first advocate for strategies and policies that enable the creation of jobs that will pay these people more than the base NewStart allowance.  Start with advocating for reduced regulation, reduced taxation, reduced government before you advocate for the reduced purchasing power of those who actually work and those who actually employ people.

Here’s another idea Dick.  With your $500,000 franking credit refund, you can fund around 130 people getting this extra $75 per week.  Given you are, as you self describe “wealthy”, you could even try funding more than 130 people before before sticking your hand in other people’s pockets and signalling your virtuous generosity.

An even better Dick.  Just shut up and go away.

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42 Responses to It’s easy to be generous with other people’s money

  1. Karabar

    Does Dick have any redeeming qualities?
    Hmmmmmmmmm. well I like his breakfast cereal.

  2. Infidel Tiger

    New Start should be increased.

    You can understand why the unemployed are keen to get on the disability when the dole is so low.

  3. mh

    Dick must have an investment strategy targeting franking credits to get half a million dollars returned to him.

    The entrepreneur said he had no idea what franking credits were before discovering the payments, and complained to the Australian Tax Office.

    Dick head.

  4. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Never forget – Dick Smith was the character who claimed that David Hicks “wasn’t getting a fair go.”

  5. Cynic of Ayr

    Isn’t it amazing that someone who is apparently “wealthy” has absolutely no idea how the Tax System works, or anything about it.
    As when he was in business, all Dick did was supply his silly face as a logo. Everything else was run by employees. I recall him saying exactly that quite some years ago. If he didn’t know how to do something, which was often, he hired someone who did. No doubt, at that time, one of his employees was entirely engaged in minimizing Dick’s tax. Not that Dick knew anything about it.

  6. Andre Lewis

    Message to Infidel Tiger
    To be on the disability pension the person needs to be disabled. Its not an alternative to Newstart for those who think people who actually work and pay taxes owe them a living.

  7. FelixKruell

    I love how those advocating for higher Newstart keep comparing it to other countries, and claiming its low. Other countries where your dole payment relates to your earlier income.

    So let’s allow an increase in Newstart, based on you much tax you’ve paid in the past. In effect, you get an additional $x a week in Newstart based on how much income tax you’ve paid in the preceding 5 years.

    So those who are genuinely in between jobs, get a bigger payment to help them maintain something like their previous lifestyle while they get their next job. Afterall, it’s hard to quickly reduce your expenses.

    Those that languish long term on Newstart, find their payment reduces over time back to the current rate. Discouraging bludging, and also reflecting that over time you can reduce your expenses to match your new circumstances.

  8. Infidel Tiger

    Andre, that is a bit naive.

    Do you really think there are a million disabled Australians of working age?

  9. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    Dick is, well … a dick.

  10. Botswana O'Hooligan

    A million disabled among us equates to 4% of the population of this ANZAC sunburned country, then of course about 800,000 kids are supposed to have some kind of allergy so there goes about another 4% and all of a sudden Biafra looks like a paradise of health and wellness.

  11. Fred

    I’ve got no problem with a rise to Newstart, as long as its offset by a reduction in spending elsewhere.

    Cut foreign aid and abolish the ABC. Problem solved.

  12. Dr Fred Lenin

    Hey Dickie where does government get the money to give back to rich people ? Governments dont earn money ,they spend money earned by other people and taken from them under threat of retribution if they dont pay it ,sort of mafia protection racket. All government is socialism it survives on other peoples money,remove that and it falls apart .
    Not advocating Anarchy,just stating true facts .

  13. Bruce of Newcastle

    With a massive trade war commencing, which may become a cold war, which will decimate our national trade balance and tax revenue, he wants us to raise welfare?

    These people are bonkers. You’d’ve thought a businessman would have at least some understanding of such things.

    Incidentally Zimbabwe is going down the gurgler again.

    Economic Collapse Imminent: Zimbabwe At ‘Tipping Point’ With ‘Wheels Coming Off’

    That’s the direction these idiots are pointing us.

  14. Tim Neilson

    Do you really think there are a million disabled Australians of working age?

    Indeed.

    I read somewhere that the UK now has more officially “disabled” people than it had immediately after the First World War.

  15. Infidel Tiger

    I’ve got no problem with a rise to Newstart, as long as its offset by a reduction in spending elsewhere.

    Cut foreign aid and abolish the ABC. Problem solved.

    Agreed.

    I would also defund all universities.

  16. Iva Right

    Amazing how people like Dicky boy suddenly develop a social and environmental conscience once all their financial and personal goals have been achieved?

  17. PB

    “perhaps you might first advocate for strategies and policies that enable the creation of jobs that will pay these people more than the base NewStart allowance.”

    Haven’t the past 30 years been about making sure this is precisely what doesn’t happen?

  18. Iva Right

    People on welfare are benefiting on money provided by people who work and contribute to the system they live off. Considering that those on welfare contribute nothing to the system and that every cent they receive is at the expense of someone who strives, I believe that welfare be set at a level that allows recipients to survive but with nothing extra. Perhaps 100% on some sort of card to provide the minimum essentials only. If people want more than this they can choose to get a job. Simple really. Welfare is a joke. For example the NDIS now provides recipients with sex workers, lawn mowing, window cleaning etc and has simply turned into another taxpayer funded slush fund. Australia abounds with bludgers and the government encourages them in the hope of political gain.

  19. PB

    “Do you really think there are a million disabled Australians of working age?”

    There as many or as few as their need to be at any given time. It just depends on where you hold the ruler.

  20. Lee

    I love how those advocating for higher Newstart keep comparing it to other countries, and claiming its low. Other countries where your dole payment relates to your earlier income.

    Ah, the old “compare it with other countries” game, where key (and unfortunate for the argument) facts are omitted or obscured.

    Take “Australia should be following countries like (insert names here) on renewable energy,” for instance.
    What they don’t tell you, is those countries get a significant amount of power from nuclear, and in some cases, hydro energy – options not allowed here.

  21. Lee

    What is “outrageous” is wealthy people like Dick being so free and easy with taking money from others not so wealthy.

  22. Henry Parkes

    Why do we still directly tax jobs (payroll tax) in this day and age – should have been abolished decades ago. Secondly, despite what other comments are saying I think we do have to consider increasing Newstart for those over 50 who have bugger all chance of getting back into work thanks to a society that sends you to the scrap-heap after that age. Employers don’t want to hear about how skilled or suitable you are once you hit that age, it’s like being on “Logan’s Run”.

    Finally I think we also have to accept with so-called ‘free trade’ that all the industries that previously absorbed unskilled and semi-skilled people have been permanently off-shored and perhaps higher unemployment is here to stay.

  23. RCon

    Really?

    None of you can imagine a circumstance where people become unemployed through no fault of their own, or unable to find suitable work?

    Markets are not frictionless, people, including hiring managers, are failiable. Not everyone is presented with the same opportunities from the outset. And do we really want people so afraid to fail they never take a risk? Unless of course they have family wealth to fall back on…. yeah, that’s real egalitarian.

    Centrelink can’t even use ATO payday reporting to correctly estimate workers income, how to you expect them to manage a NewStart recipient’s payments from total tax paid?

    All that said, some level of mutual obligation and compliance activity is entirely fair. But lets not beat up on poor people just because they’re poor. There are so many other areas we hand out money for nothing to already relatively well off people that we can, as a society, afford to be even just a little more generous with those who have been dealt a bad hand.

  24. Bad Samaritan

    Anyone got a link comparing Oz basic dole with other countries? Basic dole for those who did not pay Unemployment Insurance, or who have exhausted their entitlement to insured payments. Not previous employment dependent.

    I believe this to be around 450 Euros per month ($750 pm) in Germany but cannot find a simple site to compare with others. thanks….

  25. Jock

    Given his lack of knowledge on Franking I ignored this economic garbage. Smith needs to read a bit more. In the same copy of the Oz he is telling us to up Newstart, we have the story of an Abattoir manager who cant find workers. I am not saying everyone on Newstart is capable of working in an abattoir but these stories show jobs are available if wanted.

    Still wondering how Smith is saavvy enough to be a director of a company or the trustee of hi super fund? Could we ask him to publish his Funds Investment Strategy? You know …the one all funds are supposed to have. How does Smith deal with diversity of his investments, credit and other financial risks? Most importantly…has he read it or seen it?

    Just wondering.

  26. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Given his lack of knowledge on Franking I ignored this economic garbage

    I’m puzzled at his lack of knowledge on franking credits – it’s a simple enough concept.

  27. Bad Samaritan

    ZKTA. Indeed.

    A worker gets $1000 pw gross and has $300 in PAYE tax taken away by the employer. At tax time that worker declares the whole $1000 as income, deducts some expenses, and may get some (or all) of the $300 pre-paid tax back, depending on the total of all income earned that year.

    A shareholder gets $1000 in dividends gross, and has $300 company tax taken away by the company. At tax time the shareholder declares the whole $1000 as income and may get some (or all) of the pre-paid tax back, depending on the total of all income earned that year.

    This is the simplest thing to understand. WTF kinda dementia has Dick got?

  28. MACK

    Someone should make a list of all the deserving causes which require more government money – hospitals, general practice, mental health, dental health, medical research, the dole, the disability pension, age pension, education, the roads, defence, the police, the ambulance service, the CSIRO, drought relief, agriculture departments to control pests and diseases, ………how long is the list?
    And then when anyone starts lobbying for their favourite, just ask them where it is in the list of priorities, how much it will cost and where’s the money coming from.

  29. Iva Right

    Anyone who receives any welfare without contributing the worth of that welfare back to the system in kind is a bludger. Increase the amount of free money available or ease the accessibility and you will have more bludgers. Decrease accessibility or reduce the amount of money available and the bludgers will either find a job, end up in prison for attempting to steal money or starve.

  30. Tim Neilson

    None of you can imagine a circumstance where people become unemployed through no fault of their own, or unable to find suitable work?

    That’s the mentality that’s given us about half a trillion in national net indebtedness – cf the following;

    In the same copy of the Oz he is telling us to up Newstart, we have the story of an Abattoir manager who cant find workers.

  31. Tim Neilson

    There are so many other areas we hand out money for nothing to already relatively well off people

    True, but plenty of people on this site have already advocated for shutting down ABC current affairs.

  32. Lilliana

    We have a problem of people who are wealthy/famous etc who think because they are wealthy/famous etc they have something worthy to say. Hollywood types are the best example but Dick and he’s ilk are in the same boat. The media is complicit by publishing the rubbish they sprout. I can’t tell you how little I care about these people’s opinions. Sadly, the sheeple of the world look up to these nongs and believe the rubbish spouted.

  33. MatrixTransform

    A shareholder gets $1000 in dividends gross, and has $300 company tax taken away by the company. At tax time the shareholder declares the whole $1000 as income and may get some (or all) of the pre-paid tax back, depending on the total of all income earned that year.

    actually … pretty sure … the share holder declares the grossed up value as personal income
    ie $1000 + 300 = $1300

    so for tricky dicky to get $500k in franking credits then he must have got a disbursement of about $1.5M

    just sayin.

  34. Iva Right

    So Tim Neilson thinks it below the dignity of an unemployed office manager to pick fruit or hump a carcass at an abattoir? Suitable work for the unemployed should be any work offered. Refuse the job or deliberately get sacked and no welfare.

  35. max

    Dick Smith, ever-hungry for some publicity,

  36. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Iva Right
    #3125669, posted on August 7, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    Anyone who receives any welfare without contributing the worth of that welfare back to the system in kind is a bludger.

    Not really. You expect them to work, but not to pay them?

    We’re all better off if they can work real jobs. What you earn on the low end after tax, plus your free time means the dole isn’t a bad option (well it is overall…)

    The problem is wage regulation, mandatory on costs such as taxes and superannuation and workplace insurances.; at least from an employer’s perspective, from the worker or jobseeker, it is the absurd level of “training” in useless tickets one may need to get a start.

    Think of something simple like a kid taking a small loan off their parents to build and operate a food cart selling treats to mothers and toddlers during the day when everyone else is at work or school and young mums go shopping with the tots. Just about every local council would kill them with compliance and licensing fees & other bullshit.

    FFS, community groups need tickets to run a BBQ; imagine what a SME thinks of the contingent liability when they find it very hard to fire someone save for OH&S and harassment breaches.

  37. Tim Neilson

    So Tim Neilson thinks it below the dignity of an unemployed office manager to pick fruit or hump a carcass at an abattoir? Suitable work for the unemployed should be any work offered. Refuse the job or deliberately get sacked and no welfare.

    I think you’ve completely misunderstood what I said.

  38. David Brewer

    Anyone got a link comparing Oz basic dole with other countries? Basic dole for those who did not pay Unemployment Insurance, or who have exhausted their entitlement to insured payments. Not previous employment dependent.

    Sorry, don’t have a global list for you, but in France it’s 518.88 euros a month, i.e. about 30% less than Newstart; in Germany it’s 409 euros.

    These welfare payments only intervene after your unemployment insurance conks out. This insurance generally replaces all or almost all of previous salary, and this leads to people hanging out on it until it runs out. In Germany this was tackled in 2005 by limiting unemployment insurance payments to one year. In France, the government has recently proposed a suite of reforms, including reducing the maximum benefit from its current level of 7700 euros a month, and cutting down the rate after six months.

  39. Preposterous

    Dick Hedd believes in double jeopardy.

    When the $75 increase comes I’ll quit my part time job

  40. Overburdened

    https://youtu.be/cpyRfRTmO8k

    SeanHannity interviewing Bill De Blasio.

    Unbelievable scenes that demonstrate perverted politics is on both sides of the fence, disregarding that the fundamental principle of gathering information is to answer questions then pose new ones.

    About halfway in, De Blasio wheels out the idea that the owner of a company sits around in the money bin like Scrooge McDuck while the downtrodden middle class don’t get their fair share because without them producing the product the company would be fucked.

    That is not quite accurate reporting in that my commentary is a bit shaded by my personal ideas.

    Given the quality of reportage these days, I think my bit of subjectivity may pass muster, so long as it’s approved subjectivity.

    I would say that the question that went unasked is so how come any of you individuals don’t own the company?

    De Blasio is a snake oil salesman.

  41. Overburdened

    Somewhat off topic and still in the bounds of the debate of welfare v capital,

    The populations of advanced Countries are now almost ready for the displacement.

    The settled populace has been rendered into a sleepwalking acceptance that they are doomed, and for good reason.

    This amongst the productive part of the population, which is less and less all the time.

    The rest have been dumbed down and disabled by their own lack of motivation and an enabling regime and their on the gravy train.

    Then they will be gone.

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