Australian banks face $6.2bn levy
13 May, 2017
Australia’s government pledged to deliver a small budget surplus in 2020/21, slapping big banks with new taxes to end more than a decade of deficits that threatened its prized triple-A credit rating, news wires reported. Treasurer Scott Morrison, who presented the new budget last week, said that a new six-basis point levy on big banks' liabilities, to kick in on 1 July, would raise A$6.2bn over the next four years. Morrison described the measure, along with a A$8.2bn income tax increase on workers, as "basically a Senate tax" to get the budget back into balance as demanded by ratings agencies or risk losing its triple-A credit rating.
Australian Bankers' Association Chief Executive Anna Bligh criticised the proposed tax on banks.
"Contrary to the government's claim that the tax will only be levied on banking liabilities, the reality is that it will affect the entire banking system," Bligh said in a statement. "This new tax is not a well thought out policy response to a public interest issue, it is a political tax grab to cover a budget black hole."
Morrison also outlined plans to deliver A$75bn in infrastructure funding and financing over the next years as the base of Australia’s next growth wave.