A Today show reporter has ventured into one of Australia’s wealthiest suburbs to mock wealthy residents about whether they’ll still be able to afford their luxury cars, boats and overseas holidays amid proposed changes to superannuation.
Thousands of Aussies with more than $3million in super will no longer get generous tax breaks under a new plan announced by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Tuesday.
The prime minister and treasurer Jim Chalmers confirmed their plans to double the tax rate to 30 per cent for Australians with more than $3million in their super, with the changes expected to come into effect on July 1, 2025.
Many of the 80,000 Aussies expected to be impacted are likely from areas such as Double Bay, a ritzy suburb in Sydney’s east which is often referred to as ‘Double Pay’ because of it’s wealth.
The superannuation changes were still a hot topic on breakfast television on Wednesday, where Today show reporter Lara Vella reported live from the ‘beautifully manicured streets’ of Double Bay.
She repeatedly sledged residents throughout the segment, some of them to their faces and was egged on by program hosts Karl Stefanovic and Sarah Abo.
Today show reporter Lara Vella (pictured) took the streets of Double Bay on Wednesday
‘It’s tough out here on the streets of Double Bay this morning,’ Vella began.
‘The community, they’re counting their pennies, they’re counting the stacks of $100 bills that they have strategically placed throughout their penthouses and mansions in case of a rainy day because this is basically class warfare.
‘And let’s face it, no one likes it when the rich are the targets, do they?’
Vella took to the streets to find out how Double Bay locals were feeling.
‘People are very despondent. They’re going to be ordering less coffee now and they’re not sure how they’re going to get through their day,’ a coffee shop barista said.
Vella quipped: ‘How will they pay for their almond lattes?’
The barista replied: ‘They’re going to have to sell some of their properties.’
One Double Bay man joked to Lara Vella he may be forced to sell his boat, his daughter’s favourite
Today show hosts Karl Stefanovic and Sarah Abo also poked fun of residents in the ritzy suburb
Vella even brutally rejected a local when she told her she was a middle income earner.
‘No, I don’t want to talk to you,’ she said, turning away from the woman who appeared shocked at the interaction.
A middle-aged man was asked whether he would have to sell his second Mercedes.
‘It’s the boat, it’s my daughter’s favourite,’ he joked.
The average annual income Double Bay is $176,577, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ personal income data for 2019-20.
Homeowners fork out an average of $3,000 a month in mortgage repayments, according to the 2016 Census.
‘There are going to be so many tough conversations had around solid marble dining room tables this morning, aren’t there?’ Vella continued.
‘Are they going to have to sell the second or third Mercedes, maybe even downgrade to an Audi or a VW.’
‘You know, the winters in Whistler aren’t not going to pay for themselves. It’s tough.’
Lara Vella (pictured) pondered how Double Bay residents will still be able to afford their luxury cars, boats and overseas holidays under the sweeping reforms
Stefanovic and Abo were in stitches back in the studio as Vella ended the segment by mocking a passer-by ‘on her way to yoga.’
‘It’s not easy,’ Stefanovic joked.
Vella was inundated with praise for her brutal segment on the superannuation saga from viewers tired of the spiel from politicians.
‘Good job, thanks for injecting a touch of reality to this superannuation overblown fiasco,’ one viewer tweeted.
Another added: ‘Well done for seeing this issue for what it is. A basic measure to stop the wealthiest Australians getting an undeserved tax concession.’
a third ‘It did more to put perspective on the superannuation issue than all the other coverage I’ve seen. If I see one more interview with a Liberal politician propagating lies.’
But not all viewers saw the funny side.
‘How dare you ridicule people who live in Double Bay. They also pay a s**t load of tax paying for things like Medicare/Welfare,’ one wrote.
What you need to know about changes to Australia’s super system
* The Albanese government argues growing costs in defence, health, aged care and the NDIS, and servicing massive debt, require new superannuation policies.
* Many Australians voluntarily contribute up to $27,500 to their super each year. If they earn less than $250,000 they are taxed at a generous 15 per cent
* From July 1, 2025, the tax rate applied to future earnings for super balances above $3 million will be 30 per cent
* This will apply to about 80,000 people, who will continue to benefit from the 15 per cent tax rate on earnings from the $3 million below the threshold.
* It does not impose a limit on the size of superannuation account balances in the accumulation phase and it applies to future earnings.
* The government will soon be consulting on the legislation to enable this to happen.
* It is expected to generate revenue of about $2 billion in its first full year.
* Treasury figures show the revenue foregone from superannuation tax concessions amounts to about $50 billion a year.
* The cost of these concessions is projected to exceed the cost of the age pension by 2050.
With Australian Associated Press