Today show hosts were left in stitches after a reporter took a tongue-in-cheek swipe at one of Sydney’s wealthiest suburbs with a series of facetious interviews with locals.
It comes as thousands of wealthy Australians with more than $3 million in superannuation will no longer receive generous tax breaks under a new proposal announced by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese earlier this week.
On Wednesday morning, Today show reporter Lara Vella took to the streets of Sydney’s Double Bay – the illustrious harbourside suburb where median house prices come in at come in at $4.2 million.
Vella stared down the barrel as she roamed the community in despair.
“It’s tough out here on the streets of Double Bay this morning,” she said.
“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?”
She went on to interview a local cafe worker.
“People are very despondent,” a local barista said.
“They’re going to be ordering less coffee now, and they’re not sure how they’re going to get through their day.”
Vella asked: “How will they pay for their almond lattes?”
“They’re going to have to sell some of their properties,” the worker responded.
Karl Stefanovic can be heard chuckling in the background.
A local man, and good sport, was next in line for questioning.
“What are you going to do? Are you going to have to sell the second Mercedes?” Vella asked the man.
“Not the Mercedes,” the man responded.
“It’s my third boat – my daughter’s favourite – it’s grim, but I’ll have to consider it,” the well-dressed, stone-faced man responds.
The Albanese government proposes new superannuation policies in response to rising costs in areas such as defence, health, aged care and the NDIS, and servicing a large debt.
The proposal, which will affect around 80,000 people, involves a tax rate increase from 15 per cent to 30 per cent on future earnings for super balances above $3 million from July 1, 2025.
Future earnings will not be subject to any restrictions on the size of superannuation account balances during the accumulation phase under the new policy.
The government plans to consult on the legislation, which is expected to generate revenue of approximately $2 billion in its first year.
According to Treasury figures, revenue foregone from superannuation tax concessions is currently around $50 billion per year and is projected to exceed the cost of the age pension by 2050.
Vella furthered her sarcastic rant as she signed off her report.
“There are going to be so many tough conversations had around solid marble dining room tables this morning, aren’t there?” she said.
“Are they going to have to sell the second or third Mercedes, maybe even downgrade to an Audi or a VW.
“The winters in Whistler aren’t not going to pay for themselves.”