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HomeNewsDick Smith sends tax plan to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese

Dick Smith sends tax plan to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese


Dick Smith has never been shy about sharing his ideas for improving Australia, even if they hit him in the hip pocket.

Mr Smith on Monday revealed in the The Sydney Morning Herald that he has sent his 2021 book My Adventurous Life to the Prime Minister whom he regards as “a partner” from Anthony Albanese’s previous stint as infrastructure minister.

In the book, Mr. Smith argues that the wealthy like himself should pay 15 percent more in taxes to help the “less fortunate,” an idea he publicly promoted in 2018 through the advocacy group the “Dick Smith Fair Go Group.”

“I was brought up to believe that Australia is the country of the fun fair – not just for the rich, but for everyone,” he writes in My Adventurous Life.

“Although I had started with little, I was now among the richest 1 percent: that didn’t give me a good feeling.”

Mr Smith, who made his living from a chain of electronics stores before investing in real estate, admits that ‘no politician dared show any support for my idea’ of raising taxes.

Dick Smith (pictured) is a wealthy Australian who is happy to pay more tax, arguing that national wealth inequality is increasing

Perhaps, with Labor marking a proposed tax increase on the top pension accumulators, the 78-year-old Smith thinks the time is right for his regulations, which can broadly be termed populist politics.

Mr Smith believes that wealth inequality is a growing concern in Australia.

‘I noticed that I was becoming increasingly concerned about the wealth disparities in Australia. I was not alone,” he writes.

Australia’s richest 1 percent owned more than the 17 million Aussies (70 percent) who were the least wealthy.

‘Nearly 5 million of the poorest lived from paycheck to paycheck, without any savings.’

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (pictured during Sunday's WorldPride march across the Sydney Harbor Bridge) has received a copy of Mr Smith's book

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (pictured during Sunday’s WorldPride march across the Sydney Harbor Bridge) has received a copy of Mr Smith’s book

Mr Smith, whose net worth is estimated to be around $60 to $70 million, has previously stated that he is in favor of death benefits, something the coalition has accused Labor of wanting to introduce, but which they have denied.

Although he once registered his own party, Mr. Smith never ventured directly into politics, but his views have earned him controversy, especially when he spoke out in favor of the One Nation policy to curb immigration in 2016.

Mr Smith has stated that taking in 200,000 migrants a year, as it stands now, will ‘destroy Australia’ and he wants to reduce that to around 70,000.

“We will end up with 100 million people by the end of this century, if our grandchildren are still alive,” he told Channel Seven in 2016.

“It’s possible, I can tell you, but I think you’ll have a lot of poor people, like America, where they can’t even pay a wage.”

In his book, Mr Smith argues that Australia must admit the ‘impossibility of endless economic growth’.

Mr Smith launched his own range of Australian made goods in 1999 to compete with the name brands owned by foreign companies

Mr Smith launched his own range of Australian made goods in 1999 to compete with the name brands owned by foreign companies

He warned that if Australia grows to 100 million people, living standards will halve because there won’t be enough ‘cake’ to go around.

In addition to his original chain of electronics stores, Mr. Smith is perhaps best known for launching his own range of Australian-made food and home goods in 1999.

Mr Smith said he was shocked to learn that iconic Australian brand Vegemite was owned by US giant Kraft, although the breakfast spread has since gone back into Aussie ownership after being bought by Bega Cheese.

“I said I wanted to set up a food business that used only Australian food processed in Australia, created jobs for Australians and kept profits in Australia, and paid full tax in Australia,” writes Mr Smith in My Adventurous Life.

Mr. Smith’s food business sold goods like Ozemite and he stated that all profits went to charity.

The big blow to Dick Smith Foods came in the form of low-cost German supermarket chain Aldi, which offered cheaper alternatives to major brands.

“I have no doubt they are the smartest and most ruthless retailers in the world,” Mr Smith wrote of Aldi.

“But with the benefit of the cheaper prices that globalization offers, you also have the disadvantage that our great Aussie owned and made products and the jobs they create will disappear.”

With Mr Albanese also stating his ambition for Australia to make more things and even planning a $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund to invest in local production, Mr Smith could once again feel that he now has a partner in The Lodge.

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