Big banks hit back at government over levy The nation's five biggest banks are willing to wage a mining tax style ad campaign against a 'fast and loose' $6.
2 billion tax, which they say will leave Australian retirees and workers worse off. The banks say they've walked away from a meeting with Treasury officials on Thursday with more questions about the tax than answers. They say they're still none the wiser as to how the revenue figure was reached, how much each institution will pay, which parts of their businesses will be targeted or if it will apply to transactions with the reserve bank. Australian Bankers Association chief Anna Bligh said there is no doubt the policy was rushed into the budget at the last minute as a 'smash and grab' for more revenue. Speaking with Sky News Ms Bligh said that treasury officials were not able to 'answer basic questions.' The banks learnt very little other than this seems to be even less thought through than was originally imagined,' she said. The former Labor Premier said the bank levy was 'rushed into the budget at the last minute.' 'This is playing fast and loose with the complexity of the financial system in this country,' she said. 'If you needed any confirmation that this was added into the budget as an absolute last minute panic grab for money, today's meeting with treasury confirmed it.' She argued that this policy will set a 'dangerous precedent'. 'No one is denying that the banks are profitable but if that's the basis on which the tax is being levied there are a number of companies in Australia that make larger profits than banks,' she said. 'It is a very dangerous precedent to single out companies and single parts of the economy but what the Treasurer effectively confirmed is if you are unpopular for some reason then you are vulnerable some sort of regularity retaliation.' Treasurer Scott Morrison has rejected claims he's at war with the banks over the $6.2 billion tax. Mr Morrison described the 0.06 per cent levy as cheap oakley sport sunglasses 'modest' as he confirmed the impost would be permanent, and not just a temporary budget repair measure. He said the new levy was consistent with similar taxes on banks 'all around the world' and would ensure a strong, fair and competitive banking system. 'If the banks oakley sunglasses official website want to send a message to Australia, that they want to horde this level of profit to themselves and not do their fair share to support budget repair, they can make that decision,' Mr Morrison told 2SM oakley penny Radio. Mr Morrison has urged bankers to not pass on the levy to customers through higher loan rates. However, Ms Bligh said telling banks to absorb the tax was code for eating into profits which would otherwise go to shareholders. 'Who are the shareholders of Australian banks? They are hundreds of thousands of individual Australian shareholders many of whom are retirees who are living on share dividends as a result of their retirement.' The biggest shareholders of Australian banks are the super funds of all Australians, Ms Bligh said. 'If you are a working Australian and you have a superannuation account, then you own shares in one of the major banks in Australia, and the treasurer is saying this tax should be passed on to your investments.
' Ms Bligh called on the Senate to carefully scrutinise the proposed law underpinning the tax, potentially delaying its July 1 introduction. Elsewhere, several crossbench senators have joined calls for an investigation into monster dog how the budget's controversial bank levy was leaked to the media, leading to a $14 billion wipeout of bank shares.
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