27 June 2017
Sydney, 26 June 2017: The almost universal chorus of concern at the South Australian Government’s proposal for a major bank tax reinforces its fundamental flaws, the Australian Bankers’ Association said today.
“The reaction from big business, small business, most media outlets and commentators and many politicians has been swift in condemning the proposed tax,” ABA Executive Director – Industry Policy Tony Pearson said.
“The strong consensus is that this will be negative for investment, growth and jobs in South Australia. The state needs incentives to attract business, not new taxes that will discourage businesses from investing in new projects and employing people.
“There is no policy rationale for this proposed tax for South Australia. All Australian banks – large and small – oppose it,” Mr Pearson said.
“The South Australian Treasurer said last week that banks are under taxed, yet the banking industry is the biggest corporate taxpayer in the country.”
Mr Pearson said other states would be misguided to follow South Australia’s lead in introducing a tax on banks.
“This should not set a precedent for other states. It is a classic case of poor economic management.
“We call on every Premier and First Minister to confirm they will not follow this poor policy precedent and instead will continue to foster investment, growth and jobs in their state or territory.”
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“Australian banks are certainly better equipped now than they were in the GFC. They’ve got 2 to 2.5 times the capital reserves put aside for a rainy day than they had in the GFC”
“The Australian Banking Association (ABA) welcomes the agreement reached today on the proposed safeguard mechanism reforms, given it paves the way for the passing of a critical piece of legislation for Australia.
“This is about engaging with the entire banking ecosystem in order to ensure the accessibility of the sector’s services are best serving our diverse community now, and into the future.”