12 May 2017
Sydney, 12 May 2017: The Australian Bankers’ Association Chief Executive Anna Bligh has written to the Hon Scott Morrison MP calling on him to immediately release Treasury modelling of the major bank tax.
Ms Bligh said in order to meet the request by Treasury to comment on the draft legislation, the ABA was seeking further information by 5pm Tuesday 16 May on fundamental aspects of the bank levy, including:
- Treasury’s modelling on the economic impacts of the bank levy, including the wider impact on Australian households and businesses.
- Treasury’s technical analysis that underpinned the design of the tax, including the coverage of banks and the design of the levy.
- Treasury’s modelling including assumptions of the total revenue projections to be collected by the bank levy over the forward estimates.
Ms Bligh said it was no longer acceptable to keep the banks or the Australian community in the dark about a $6.2 billion political tax grab that would have a major impact on all sections of the Australian economy.
“Senior executives of the major banks in good faith attended what they expected to be a comprehensive briefing from Treasury yesterday, only to find to their dismay that Treasury was also in the dark,” she said.
“Fundamental questions about how this tax has been calculated and how the $6.2bn figure was reached have not been answered.
“Yet the Treasurer Mr Morrison continues to maintain that this tax will be ready for implementation by July 1, which is only around six weeks away.
“The Government seems to be putting intolerable pressure on its Treasury officials to meet a ridiculous political timetable,” she said.
“The major banks are terribly concerned about the risk of major unintended consequences of this new tax, and there is an urgent need for more detailed information so we can properly assess its impacts.
“This process is already breaking all the rules and conventions about major taxation implementation, including no prior consultation, no exposure draft legislation for public comment, and an extraordinarily brief timetable before a hastily designed tax is presented to the Parliament.
“Disastrous unintended consequences could flow from this rush,” Ms Bligh said.
A copy of the letter is attached.
Contact: Stephanie Arena 0477 470 677 or Nic Frankham 0435 963 913
“…banks can go back to their normal processes and that is working out what’s right for every single customer, on an individual tailored basis with a proper assessment. That is the best thing for the customer.”
Access to credit opens up opportunities and fulfills aspirations. Getting it right requires the right balance between consumer protections and the flow of credit.
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.