Mark Latham returns fire at Gina Rinehart's 'living beyond our means' comment

Former federal Labor leader Mark Latham has accused Gina Rinehart of double standards after the billionaire mining magnate slammed Australia for its ‘‘entitlement’’ mentality.

Mr Latham’s comments come after the mining tycoon took aim at welfare recipients and the political left for spending the ‘‘bottomless pit’’ of revenue created by mining.

‘‘We are living beyond our means,’’ Ms Rinehart, worth an estimated $19.89 billion, reportedly wrote in a column for the Australian Resources and Investment magazine.

‘‘Australians have to work hard or actually harder and smarter to create the revenue to be able to pay that bill ... something has to give, we can’t do it all.’’

Mr Latham told the Seven Network on Friday that Ms Rinehart ‘‘wants to be a bigger welfare recipient herself’’.

‘‘She’s against social welfare but she’s very much in favour of business welfare for herself.


‘‘I think that’s an appalling double standard, there is no bottomless pit of money and that should apply to Gina as much as the people she’s bagging today.’’

Ms Rinehart also praised former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the column, titled ‘‘The Age of Entitlement - has Consequences’’, urging Australian politicians to follow her example.

‘‘Europe and the free world sadly lost a courageous leader last year, Baroness Thatcher,’’ Ms Rinehart wrote.

‘‘Our political leaders are fortunate to have a leader they can emulate, a leader who well understood fundamental economic matters, critical for all countries and their standards of living.

‘‘What Thatcher did for Britain our own leaders should do for us - cut spending, cut waste, cut the shackles and back hard work.’’

Ms Rinehart urged action from politicians, saying ‘‘now is the time to change some thinking and urge leadership’’.

She’s against social welfare but she’s very much in favour of business welfare for herself.

‘‘We all have a role to play in mitigating the thinking that’s not helping our future,’’ the billionaire added.

‘‘The left don’t want to address the issue. Instead they get hysterical and personal about who speaks out.’’

Ms Rinehart this week tumbled 10 places on the latest Forbes Magazine rich list, despite getting richer in the last year.

Her wealth has declined from two years ago, as the price of iron ore fell, and she focused on securing $7 billion in debt for her massive Roy Hill iron ore project.

She was easily Australia’s richest person on the list, ahead of 208th-ranked James Packer with $US6.5 billion.

Fairfax Media with AAP


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