Gina Rinehart Offers Premier Advice on Tackling Cost of Living and Housing Crisis

Billionaire mining magnate Gina Rinehart has offered the Albanese government some bold economic advice to reduce the cost of living, echoing Peter Dutton on inflation.

Former Special Forces commando Wes Hennessey has spoken out against the “shameful” portrait of Australian billionaire Gina Rinehart placed in the National Gallery of Art. “If that was a portrait of someone I knew or loved, I would be the person leading the petition to remove it,” Hennessey told Sky News Australia presenter Erin Molan. “Let’s assume it was done with good intentions on the part of the artist and everything else, however, ultimately it is the portrait of her.”

Rinehart, 70, was quick to criticize the government’s “extraordinarily wasteful” $300 energy rebate for more than 10 million Australian households, regardless of income.

Opposition leader Peter Dutton also doubted that Labour’s support measures were not inflationary, saying the rising cost of living was “homegrown”.

Speaking to News.com.au, the mining magnate said cutting taxes other than income, such as fuel tax, would be a step in the right direction.

Rinehart also advocated cutting other taxes, such as payroll tax, stamp duty and license fees. Image: Hancock Prospecting/Supplied

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“If the government really cared about these fellow Australians struggling with high costs, it would remove onerous government paperwork and its unfair limits on the working hours of retirees, veterans and students,” he said.

“Each of them faces higher effective tax rates than me if they choose to work above a very small threshold of hours.

“Letting Australians who want to work work would not only be better for those Australians and their families, it would save the need for the very costly government policy of vastly increasing immigration, supposedly bringing in more workers.”

Rinehart also advocated cutting other taxes, such as payroll tax, stamp duty and license fees, which she said were supposed to be reduced “decades ago” when the GST was introduced.

National Senator Matt Canavan says the federal budget was “full of deceit”. “I don’t think it’s that important to watch the budget because it’s layers and layers of twists,” he told Sky News presenter Paul Murray. Canavan’s comments come after Treasurer Jim Chalmers delivered the 2024-25 federal budget last week on Tuesday night, which included some cost of living measures to help Australians.

“Big spending and big government costs everyone (which I advocate) and increases the cost of living,” he said.

Ms Rinehart then echoed Liberal Leader Peter Dutton’s comments in his budget response speech on Thursday, focusing on immigration as a major impact on the housing crisis.

“This huge increase in immigration not only increases housing and rental costs, increases hospital burdens and treatment delays, and more traffic on the roads, but, according to the IPA (Institute of Public Affairs), it has also meaning an increase of 40,000 workers just from one million immigrants, which represents a greater burden and expense for social spending,” he said.

Dutton said the last five years had seen a record 1.67 million people arrive in Australia, “more than the population of Adelaide”. Image: Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images

“While profits from companies, including ours, can be used for investments, which are necessary to maintain or improve the standard of living of Australians and for good charitable purposes, including the Royal Flying Doctor Service, which helps veterans, cancer patients and others.

Dutton said a record 1.67 million people had arrived in Australia in the past five years, “more than the population of Adelaide”, meaning housing supply was struggling to keep up with demand.

The Coalition leader said the government had committed to building 1.2 million homes by 2029, but would fall short by 400,000, or 33 per cent.