Australia is slowly starting to recover from its worst floods in living memory.
Homes and businesses across swathes of Queensland, the east coast and Victoria have been destroyed.
The question now is – how to pay for the damage, estimated at four billion euros?
And the answer being given is – a temporary tax, beginning in July.
It is the way forward, according to Prime Minister Julia Gillard:
“As I reflect on these floods and what has happened,” said Gillard,“I can’t escape the sadness. None of us can. But I won’t forget the pride either, the pride in what we have done together. But, having reflected, I look forward, and I know what needs to be done. Investing in rebuilding, investing in future growth, managing demand, reforming for the future. That’s what we will do.”
The new tax is on a sliding scale, starting with 0.5 percent extra on earnings of more than 50 thousand Australian dollars – the equivalent of 36 thousand euros.
It will only be payable this year and next and should raise more than a billion euros.
The good news for anyone directly affected by the floods is that they will not have to contribute.