Australian conservative government to raise taxes on five biggest banks

Posted May 19, 2017

The increase will raise A$8.2 billion over the budget period.

There's fairness and opportunity, just not much security.

Treasurer Scott Morrison promised to deliver a small A$7.4 billion ($5.4 billion) surplus in 2020/21, an improvement on the A$1.08 billion it forecast in the mid-year review in December.

"There is no rhyme or reason to the bank tax, it is not a deposit guarantee scheme".

Pensioners hit by an assets test change introduced earlier this year will get their concession cards back.

Morrison repeated the government's stance that the main problem with housing affordability was that supply had not kept up with demand, and the government will be releasing some government land - starting with 127 hectares of surplus Defence land in Maribyrnong in Victoria (Bill Shorten's electorate), which the government estimates could support up to 6000 new homes.

"As every business owner or employee knows, every extra cost needs to be borne by customers or shareholders or a combination of both", he said. For properties bought from now it will limit plant and equipment depreciation deductions.

Housing investors will have to pay more.

Mr Morrison insists the government has arrested the growth in debt by more than two-thirds since coming to power in 2013, but will still top half a trillion dollars before June 30.

"There is clearly the potential for better days ahead", Mr Morrison said.

Mr Morrison has not said whether he still intends to return to surplus by 2021, a key pledge he made past year.

The budget contains an extensive infrastructure program, pledging to deliver A$75 billion infrastructure funding and financing over a decade.

The budget also gave some more detail on the government's plans to develop a second worldwide airport in Sydney.

The government will also tackle supply issues, unlocking Defence land in Maribyrnong, in Melbourne's west, for 6000 new homes, and crack down on foreign buyers of new developments.

The government also plans to increase taxes and charges.

It comes into effect on July 1.

"This represents an additional and fair contribution from our major banks, is similar to measures imposed in other advanced countries, and will even up the playing field for smaller banks", he said.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will be asked to monitor the banks' response when the levy is implemented.

Now a former-banker prime minister and his treasurer have picked a fight they've judged a political win for them. JobSeeker recipients testing positive would be placed on the Cashless Debit Card.

"You say they're principles important to the Liberal Party", Ms Sales said.

There will be a crackdown on those attempting to collect multiple payments, stricter residency rules for new migrants to access Australian pensions, and denying welfare for a disability caused exclusively by their own substance abuse.

Michael Rowland said they will have a number of tax concessions granted to them under the new budget. Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott called the tax a worrying precedent for all business. It was "practical and workable".

"At a minimum the Turnbull Government must restore all health funding the Government has cut from Queensland, and ensure sufficient growth funding going forward to address the challenge of rising demand".

Most notable was the 0.06 of a percentage point levy on the liabilities of the five biggest banks which would rake in about A$1.5 billion a year, he said in a note to clients.