Treasurer Wayne Swan has slammed mining magnate Gina Rinehart for insulting Australian workers after she accused people of being jealous of the wealthy.
Mrs Rinehart, Australia's richest person, says those who are jealous of the wealthy should start working harder and cut down on drinking, smoking and socialising.
In her regular column in Australian Resources and Investment magazine, she wrote it was billionaires like herself who were doing more than anyone to help the poor by investing their money and creating jobs.
"There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire," Mrs Rinehart wrote.
"If you're jealous of those with more money, don't just sit there and complain. Do something to make more money yourself - spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising, and more time working.
"Become one of those people who work hard, invest and build, and at the same time create employment and opportunities for others."
She also suggested the government should lower the minimum wage of $606.40 a week and cut taxes to stimulate employment.
But Mr Swan said the comments were "an insult to the millions of Australian workers who go to work and slog it out to feed the kids and pay the bills".
"A lot of people work very hard and work a lot harder than Gina Rinehart does and take home less each week than her."