I'm not picking a fight with the banks: Australia Treasurer tells CNBC

Frederick Owens
May 19, 2017

In a post-budget breakfast address to about 100 guests at accounting giants PwC in Canberra, Mr Costello said the government's strategy seemed to be simply to rely on the economy growing, and debt as a share of the economy to fall.

Despite boosted outlays, the Treasurer promised a $7.4 billion surplus in 2020-21 with no borrowing for recurrent spending, which cover the day-to-day bills from running the government.

Australia has outpaced many of its developed country peers since the global financial crisis, but steady economic growth has been challenged in recent years by the end of the mining investment boom.

A more relaxed and comfortable treasurer gave no criticism of Joe Hockey, whose 2014 budget caused the coalition so much electoral grief.

Australia' s Treasurer Scott Morrison insists he's not expecting a fight from Australia's big banks despite announcing a surprise levy on Tuesday night's annual budget.

The Government will launch a "one-stop shop" where Australians can take their complaints about the financial sector called the Australian Financial Complaints Authority.

It commits to more and better paying jobs, guaranteeing essential services, putting downward pressure on the cost of living, and Australia living within its means.

A housing affordability package includes a "first home super savers scheme" that will provide a tax cut for those trying to get a deposit together.

"We will see. What I will say is we desperately need broad tax reform in this country, but is a super tax on just the banks the answer?"

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Australia's "big four" banks could also be in line for a new tax on their balance sheet liabilities.

Investors were already wary of the banks and the news, combined with slightly soft trading update from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, deepened a sell-off that began on May 2 and has now sliced A$30 billion from the capitalisation of the banks.

Companies hiring workers from overseas on the new temporary skills shortage visa and certain permanent skilled visas will be slugged with a levy that will go into the government's new 'Skilling Australians Fund'.

Downsizers will get special exemptions from superannuation rules to allow them to put lump sums into their retirement savings from selling their family home.

There will be a national housing finance corporation established from July next year to offer long-term, low-priced finance to community housing providers for affordable housing. There will be a drug testing trial for 5,000 new welfare recipients.

"We've had a fights about funding for several years".

That's expected to generate 60,000 jobs in the long term.

According to The Australian, one way in which the mooted scheme could be introduced is through comparing a national register of foreign owned land which is being constructed by the Australian Taxation Office with water usage levels kept by each state to determine which properties are both (a) owned by foreigners and (b) also sitting vacant.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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