Smith said that more than 2,000 people declared more than $1 million a year in income but claimed no tax deductions for charitable giving, meaning they had not made donations.
In Australia the wealthy donate less than one per cent of their income. In contrast, in the United States the wealthy donate an average of 15 per cent of their income, Smith said.
“I am absolutely disgusted that most of the wealthy are so utterly selfish and I can’t work out how everyone lets them get away with it,” Smith said.
“I’m going to ‘out’ these people. If they don’t donate, they’re going to be embarrassed.”
“It is an obligation if you’re wealthy to become a philanthropist,” Smith said.
Smith said he and his wife donate approximately $1 million each year. One of his recent donations was a $400,000 public sculpture for Circular Quay in Sydney commemorating the Scout’s centenary in Australia in 2008. Created by artists Jennifer Turpin and Michaelie Crawford, the sculpture will be unveiled in late September and was funded from $1 million the Smiths gave the Scouts. Smith said being a Scout as a youngster taught him to always help others.
Third Sector acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.