Sunrise host Samantha Armytage agreed with the remarks of Scott Morrison that individuals making $180,000 a year are not “rich,” causing some viewers’ backlash.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister defended tax reductions for high-income earners, suggesting that FIFO employees earning $180,000 a year are not wealthy and deserve some tax relief for their hard work.
Today, Armytage endorsed Mr Morrison ‘s claims, saying earning the salary wouldn’t be enough to make you rich in some of Australia’s major cities.
“It depends where you live in Australia as to whether or not you are wealthy on that, in Sydney probably not,” she said during the program on Thursday morning.
“$180,000 sounds like a lot but there FIFO workers make huge sacrifices. They are often the sole income earner, (have) a couple of kids, a mortgage.”
Armytage is one of Australia’s highest paid TV hosts and reportedly on approximately $500,000 a year salary.
Social commentator Jane Caro said, “rich is a relative term,” and it would be beyond their “greatest dreams” for many Australians to earn a $180k salary.
“It’s all relative. It very much depends on where you are standing when you look at that salary,” Ms Caro told Sunrise.
“The thing about these tax cuts is that they disproportionately favour higher earners and they also disproportionately therefore favour men.
“We know that this recession has hit women much harder than men. Women have lost more jobs, they’ve lost more hours of work, they are much more vulnerable to poverty in old age. We need to be doing something to help women and we are doing absolutely nothing.”
Viewers were quick to express their outrage:
“The suggestion that FIFO workers work hard and make sacrifices somehow devalues so many others in the workforce who do the same in different ways,” another social media user said.
“Most Australians are living in poverty, with a median income of $60k. Except for overpaid people on TV,” one commenter wrote.
One added: “Interesting that the presenter claims that the poor man earning “only’’ $180pa might be the sole income earner at home … he wouldn’t have to be if women had better chances of even getting a job.”