To the Herald Sun 4/5/17
Fat cats need a diet
As Australia's resources fat cats made the billionaires top 100 list again, I was reminded of Alaska which in 1976, nine years after oil was discovered, amended its Constitution to dedicate its yearly oil revenues, in part, to a state investment fund.
Every person since 1982, a permanent fund dividend has been paid to every Alaskan men, woman and child in recognition of the ownership, in part, of its resources.
From a 2008 high of $3269, in more recent years the PFD has been between $1000 and $1500 per person.
Similarly, following Norway's discovery of North Sea oil, Norway created the State Petroleum Fund in 1990. A substantial amount of oil profits, viewed as belonging to all Norwegians, has created a found balance of almost $60 billion. Unlike Alaska, however, always priority is to find community-wide benefits.
Norway has a steady growth rate, almost no poverty, free health, free education (at all levels) and negligible unemployment. Workers enjoy eight weeks paid leave, liberal sick leave, three-year maternity leave and reliable and inexpensive day care. Creative part-time and tell communicating opportunities help keep women in the workforce.
Sadly, I don't see the income from Australia's resources providing the same benefits – it just seems to be making the fat cats fatter.
John Seaton, Prospect Vale, Tas.