Executive salaries shouldn't be subsidised by taxpayers - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 31 AUGUST 2020

Recessions hit the poor hardest, which is why Australia followed many countries around the world in implementing a wage subsidy scheme.

But a scheme designed to reduce inequality is being misused by a small number of firms, who are channelling it to executive bonuses.

Accent Group received $13 million in JobKeeper and gave CEO Daniel Agostinelli a $1.2 million bonus.

IDP Education received $4 million in JobKeeper and gave CEO Andrew Barkla a $600,000 bonus. Last year he was Australia's highest paid CEO, taking home $37 million.

Star Casino received $64 million in JobKeeper and gave CEO Matt Bekier an equity bonus worth $800,000.

SeaLink received $8 million in JobKeeper and gave CEO Clinton Feuerherdt a $500,000 bonus.

Then there is 'dividend keeper', diverting money for workers into shareholder payouts.

Furniture firm Nick Scali received $4 million from Australian and New Zealand taxpayers. Its increased dividend will deliver $2 million to the Scali family.

1300SMILES got $2 million in JobKeeper and paid out $3 million to shareholders. Managing director Daryl Holmes owns two-thirds of the company and so will get about $2 million, roughly what his company received in JobKeeper support.

As Ownership Matters' Dean Paatsch puts it: 'I don't think it was ever the intention of the government to subsidise executive salaries'.

If you're getting taxpayer subsidies, the CEO should not be getting a bonus.

ENDS

Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.


Showing 9 reactions

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  • Maureen Fitzsimon
    commented 2020-09-04 08:52:27 +1000
    Those on the far right begrudged the unemployed even their miserable $40 a day. They bleated on about “ if you have a go, you get a go”. Government welfare, apparently, is only for the rich.
  • Catherine Porter
    commented 2020-09-02 19:07:28 +1000
    I can’t believe these greedy B……. are actually taking this. I’m just too gobsmacked for words.
  • Tanya Salehian
    commented 2020-09-02 09:23:42 +1000
    Typical self interested selfish Australians – to whom money and more money equals success however and where ever it comes from. This is a deeply corrupt country and has been from the beginning. It was never a settler country but a place to send offenders and escapees from justice. All the innocent people take note of that and wonder!!!
  • Aaron O'Brien
    commented 2020-09-01 22:19:56 +1000
    Non of this and everything else around the lockdowna is good, I don’t not trust and have lost confidence in the Andrews government.
  • Belinda Knott
    commented 2020-09-01 21:08:37 +1000
    My old company everyone took a 20% pay cut during this time so everyone could keep their jobs. Wouldn’t it be nice if these businesses went without a bonus for 1-2 years to help their staff and not rob funds that could be given to our schools or hospitals who are bearing the brunt right now (and always).
  • Marcus L'Estrange
    commented 2020-09-01 17:18:58 +1000
    Well done for this expose. It’s like crooks of the world unite. You have nothing to loose but your shame.
  • Trevor White
    commented 2020-09-01 17:16:21 +1000
    Can not wait to hear the LNP response to this. Thank you Andrew for trying to keep them honest.
  • Tony Sipkes
    commented 2020-09-01 12:59:49 +1000
    Why is our tax supporting big business it’s meant to support people and social inequality… big business doesn’t care about social issues
  • Krista Durham
    commented 2020-09-01 10:03:10 +1000
    Andrew, Very glad to see you keeping this sort of rorting of the JobKeeper system in the public consciousness. Call them out. Embarrass those who take or give themselves bonuses when the money they use to do so is meant for their employees. I’d like to see the government ensure that funds from the public purse are used to support those most in need, not the ones with the most greed.

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | Andrew.Leigh.MP@aph.gov.au | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.