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Soft GDP a wake-up call for Government on bank tax

7 June 2017

Today’s weak economic growth figure highlights the need to maintain a strong banking industry, the Australian Bankers’ Association said today.

“While the economy grew by a soft 1.7 per cent over the year to the March quarter, the finance and insurance industry grew by a strong 4.0 per cent,” ABA Chief Executive Anna Bligh said.

“Also, the latest inflation figures show that the price of financial services has increased by less than overall inflation, and by much less than some essential items like child care, education, and health.”

Ms Bligh said in this environment the Federal Government’s new tax on major banks was contrary to the national interest.

“You don’t win the race by knobbling your fastest runners,” she said.

“And you can’t tax your way to prosperity. The Government needs to rethink this new tax.”

Over the three years ending June 2016, productivity of the finance and insurance industry has been on average 2.6 per cent per year, nearly four times higher than the overall market sector (on average, 0.7 per cent per year).

ENDS

Contact: Nic Frankham 0435 963 913 (Stephanie Arena is on leave)

@austbankers

bankers.asn.au

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