“The bank tax is dead”

by Miklos Bolza16 Nov 2017
Labor’s controversial South Australian bank tax has ultimately been laid to rest after being shot down for a second time in the Senate.

The Liberal Party, the Australian Conservatives and Advance SA MP John Darley all promised to block the tax with Premier Jay Weatherill admitting defeat yesterday (15 November).

“For all intents and purposes, the bank tax is dead,” he told reporters.

Weatherill accused Liberal opposition leader Steven Marshall of siding with the banks over the people of South Australia.

“For my government, this was all part of SA jobs being our number one priority.”

Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis was equally scathing of the opposition, pointing to recent moves by the banking industry.

“The big banks have closed more than 30 branches in South Australia in recent years, and less than two weeks ago, NAB announced it would sack a further 6,000 workers on the same day it recorded a profit of $6.6bn.”

The Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) has come out in support of the decision to abandon any moves towards a state bank tax.

“Today is a real victory for the people of South Australia and in particular for those who operate businesses. The decision will provide them with a greater level of confidence and certainty which is vital for business,” said ABA CEO Anna Bligh.

“Australian banks belong to all of us and they’re about growth and driving good economic outcomes; today’s decision will mean we can all get on with the job of making that happen.”

Bligh thanked the South Australian Liberal Opposition lead by Steven Marshall, Advance SA’s John Darley and the Australian Conservative Party for opposing the tax.

Shayne Elliott, CEO of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), welcomed the decision as “positive,” saying the state was once again open for business and investment.

“We look forward to continuing to invest in our South Australian business with renewed certainty, which remains an important part of our business here in Australia.”

Andrew Thorburn, CEO of National Australia Bank (NAB), also praised the move, saying it was the “right result” for those in South Australia.

“The business community needs sound, long-term policies and certainty to invest in their businesses, create jobs and build a stronger South Australian economy. Today’s decision makes South Australia a more attractive place to do business.”

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