Welfare Repayment for Some- Nick Scali Optional?
6 February 2021
We all saw the callous and incompetent saga of Robodebt, where the tax database and the welfare database were imperfectly matched, the welfare recipients were accused of understating their incomes and put in the unenviable position of having to prove that they system was wrong, as their support payments were cut to below survival level.
Now we see some companies who are doing very well getting Jobkeeper and being asked politely if they would mind paying it back.
Nick Scali, the furniture retailer has done very well out of the lockdown as people still at home and working, with forced saving on their out of home recreations have upgraded their furnishings. His profit has risen 99% to $40 million, and the share price from $3 to $10.51 in the last 12 months. The dividends are up 60%. Nick Scali as the major shareholder with 13% of the company will make $4.4 million personally. The company has received $3.5 million in Jobkeeper payments, so Labor MP Andrew Leigh has asked that it be repaid. Of course, Scali has done nothing illegal and has taken money that companies were entitled to. But the Government which is so careful and niggardly when it comes to poorer people getting money is totally silent on this situation. They are very thorough when it comes to giving out Jobseeker or any type of pension, yet seem unable to restrict much more generous handouts to business, let alone having a mechanism to get it back. The stockmarket profit reporting season is just starting so we are likely to see many more examples of this.
The only explanation I can find is ‘For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.’ — in Matthew 25:29, Revised Standard Version.