23 June 2017
Sydney, 22 June 2017: A new proposed tax on five Australian banks by the South Australian Government is an outrageous cash grab without policy substance, the Australian Bankers’ Association Chief Executive Anna Bligh said today.
“States are not responsible for banking policy. There is absolutely no policy reason for this announcement, other than a need for the South Australian Government to raise revenue in a desperate political move,” Ms Bligh said.
“Let me be clear – it is not the job of banks to prop up government budget shortfalls.
“South Australia is a state that needs economic confidence – at 6.9 per cent it has the highest unemployment rate nationally. Today’s announcement is the worst possible signal to the business community in South Australia and will make South Australia less competitive, potentially driving jobs to other states,” she said.
“This announcement is staggering for a group of Australian banks that are already among the highest corporate tax payers.
“These are banks that provide jobs for South Australians, lend to South Australian businesses and help South Australians into their homes.
“Tax policy in Australia is now becoming a joke at the whim of political opportunism and South Australia is trying to impose triple dipping for bank taxation,” Ms Bligh said.
“The banks impacted by this proposal pay full corporate tax, the Federal Government has just passed a new bank tax and now the South Australian Government is trying to impose a third state tax.
“The impacted banks call on every Australian Premier and First Minister to rule out a similar tax.
“Furthermore, when the GST was introduced, a range of state taxes were eliminated, including some state taxes relating to financial institutions. Today’s announcement is a step back in time.”
Contact: Stephanie Arena 0477 470 677 or Rachel McCormack 0423 407 189 (Nic Frankham is on leave)