MINING billionaire Gina Rinehart has criticised welfare recipients for dragging the country into debt and attacked the political left for spending the “bottomless pit” of revenue generated from mining taxes and royalties.
“We are living beyond our means,” Ms Rinehart, worth an estimated $19.89 billion, wrote in an opinion article. “This ‘Age of Entitlement’ and its consequences is creating problems for all of us, our children and our grandchildren.”
In her latest column for Australian Resources and Investment magazine, Ms Rinehart echoed Treasurer Joe Hockey’s call for an end to the age of entitlement — albeit with a sharper attack on the $130 billion spent annually on the five million citizens receiving income support.
“Australians have to work hard or actually harder and smarter to create the revenue to be able to pay that bill … something has to give, we can’t do it all.”
She heaped praise on the late Margaret Thatcher and quoted one of her favourite lines from the controversial former British prime minister: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
“Great quote. Let’s learn from it,” she wrote.
The billionaire predicted an outpouring of personal attacks on her for the comments.
“I can already hear the left boiling with rage that I dare challenge their ‘bottomless pit’ and the belief that money doesn’t have to be earned before it is spent mentality.
More nasty twisted articles will appear, forests and splinters of them. But every day Australia goes further into debt with no clear planning operation to get back even close to where we were.
“The political left is torn and confused. One moment they hate our very existence and even want us closed down — but in another, they don’t want to stop spending the revenue that they count on from us in taxes and royalties.”
She urged leadership, said the government could learn from Mrs Thatcher and claimed she was not alone in wanting politicians to act.
“Now is the time to change some thinking and urge leadership. We all have a role to play in mitigating the thinking that’s not helping our country’s future, including the entitlements mentality of individuals, companies — and our leaders.
“The left don’t want to address the issue. Instead they get hysterical and personal about who speaks out — in this case, sometimes me.”