22 August 2017
Australia’s major banks have resolved to mount a challenge to the SA bank tax if it is legislated, the Australian Bankers’ Association announced today.
“The South Australian Government will face a High Court challenge if it introduces its proposed bank tax,” ABA Chief Executive Anna Bligh said.
“South Australia is a state that needs to create more jobs and encourage businesses to invest, not introduce new taxes,” she said.
Recent polls of more than 2000 voters and 400 business owners in South Australia showed widespread opposition to the tax and concern about its impact on jobs.
“Banks are campaigning against the tax because it is not in the interests of South Australians, and they are prepared to fight it in court,” Ms Bligh said.
“Other states will also face a Constitutional challenge in the High Court if they propose to single out banks for new taxes.
“There is no justification for new taxes on Australia’s major banks. Banks are already the nation’s largest taxpayers, contributing $14 billion in taxes last year.
“On top of that, banks paid $26 billion in dividends to shareholders and superannuation funds in 2016.
“That’s a benefit to almost every working Australian and new taxes on banks will erode this benefit,” she said.
Contact: Stephanie Arena 0477 470 677 or Nic Frankham 0435 963 913
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Interviewed by AM’s Peter Ryan, ABA CEO Anna Bligh talked about the substantial drop in loan deferrals since their peak during the pandemic, falling from 900,000 to 300,000.