Billionaire heir to Lang Hancock's mining empire Gina Rinehart has no idea what life is like for workers on the minimum wage, the Australian Greens said today.
Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said Ms Rinehart's desire to cut the minimum wage was "based on ignorance and a complete lack of concern for the challenges working people face in their lives".
"According to Anglicare's research, people on minimum wage can't afford 95 per cent of the rental properties in this country, and 99 per cent of the rentals in Western Australia. Workers on minimum wage can't pay the rent, and they've got an old-money billionaire telling them they should work more and be paid less for it."
Senator Ludlam said it was "insulting" that Ms Rinehart told working people to, in her words, "spend less time drinking, or smoking and socialising, and more time working".
"Gina Rinehart's message to these workers is - stop trying to enjoy the little free time you have, and work harder. Australian workers already work very hard and productivity is growing. Not all of us were able to inherit a mining empire shortly before a world-wide mineral commodities boom."
"Australian workers on the minimum wage should be paid more, not less, and mining billionaires should pay their fair share of tax."