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Banks tipped off to new tax: Hinch calls for investigation

Banks tipped off to new tax: Hinch calls for investigation

Commonwealth Bank of Australia slumped 3.9 percent, the biggest decline in 15 months, at the close of trading in Sydney.

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison delivers the federal budget in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, May 9, 2017.

Mr Morrison on Wednesday urged bankers to "pony up" and not pass on the costs to customers.

"This work will assist the national collecting institutions to fully utilise the assets available to them and better enable the ability for self-generated revenue".

Scott Morrison's plan to utilise Australia's "big hearts" to fund the NDIS is under threat, with both Labor and the Greens raising concerns over the funding plan.

Mr Morrison also flagged personal income tax cuts to tackle bracket creep, which pushes taxpayers in to the next-highest tax rate as wages grow with inflation, in the next four years.

It is expected that the new levy will raise up to $6.2 billion.

The center-left opposition Labor Party accused the conservative government of delivering a tax cut for millionaires and a tax hike for every working Australian.

The government has announced a number of measures over the past year to protect consumers and boost transparency in the banking sector, including beefing up the corporate watchdog's powers.

Then there were the big-dollar announcements to get the country moving and to create jobs: $5.3 billion over 10 years for the Badgerys Creek airport; $8.4 billion to start building the Melbourne to Brisbane inland rail link; the opening of discussions with Victoria and NSW to buy back shares of the Snowy Hydro.

What's been termed by some a "Labor-lite" budget has raised the degree of difficulty for Shorten in crafting a budget reply that isn't seen to fall short.

The government will require senior bank executives to register with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, which can deregister them, disqualify them from executive positions and even strip them of bonuses for breaches of laws or systemic failures in their banks.

Banking expert Claire Matthews recons there won't be an immediate impact on New Zealand customers, NZ banks are separate subsidiaries of their Australian couterparts.

In a final whack at the sector, a permanent team will be established within the ACCC to investigate competition in the nation's banking and financial system, as recommended by the Coleman Committee.

Marie Diron, associate managing director of Moody's Investors Service, said the agency assessed Australia's fiscal strength as "very high, a key support to the government's triple-A raiting and stable outlook" after the budget.

He said the federal government made an explicit decision not to apply the bank levy to worldwide banks and regional banks in order to level the playing field. In a clever political move, the Treasurer has exempted customer deposits of less than $250,000, as well as superannuation and insurance funds.

But Mr Morrison has revised that figure to $65.4 billion for the decade starting a year later, on July 1, 2017 (2017-28).

Proposed changes to managed investment trusts (MITs) were also interesting, Watkins said, with new rules added to ensure investment in affordable housing will qualify.

Challenges in addressing first home buyer issues.

So much for the politics, but what about the public policy merits of the Budget?


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