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.
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.