Westpac profits show Abbott should levy banks, not taxpayers: Bandt

“If ‘we’re all in this together’ as Tony Abbott says, he should levy the big four banks instead of whacking citizens in next week’s Budget. The big four can clearly afford it,” said Greens Deputy Leader and Finance spokesperson, Adam Bandt, today. 

“The banking sector is in rude financial health, with another ‘big four’ bank posting a strong profit, thanks in large part to taxpayers’ guarantee of its operations.”

“Westpac’s increase in its half-yearly earnings to $3.7 billion is another example of the taxpayer supporting the top end of town without getting a fair deal in return.”

“Like the other ‘big three’, Westpac can leverage greater profits from cheaper borrowing thanks to its taxpayer-guaranteed ‘too big to fail’ status.” 

“A public support levy on the big four banks would raise $11bn for the Budget.” 

“With Tony Abbott’s axe swinging towards pensions, health and the public sector, common sense suggests that the mega-profitable ‘big four’ should pay a little back.

“A levy on the ‘big four’ would be prudent, fair, workable and would help encourage much-needed competitiveness in the banking sector,” said Mr Bandt.