2 October 2017
The Australian Bankers’ Association has responded to reports in the West Australian today that the WA Government would look at a bank levy to make up for unequal GST allocation.
“It is disappointing that the Western Australian Government is considering targeting one industry in its attempt to restore the state Budget,” ABA Chief Executive Anna Bligh said.
“Bank customers and shareholders should not be held to ransom in political brinkmanship between WA and Canberra,” she said.
“As the ABA outlined in our submission to the Productivity Commission GST review, there are some unintended outcomes from the current system for allocating GST.
“WA is rightly questioning how they only receive a GST share of less than 35 cents in the dollar,” Ms Bligh said.
“But a new tax on banks is not the answer. It is short-term political thinking that will cause long-term economic damage.
“Banks are already the largest corporate taxpayers in the country and contribute significantly to the WA Budget through payroll tax,” she said.
“Banks drive economic activity in WA through loans to individuals and small businesses.
“WA needs to grow its economy and create jobs, not introduce new taxes,” Ms Bligh said.
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“…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.