According to Australia’s ABC News, the “Federal Government looks set to introduce a tax on bank deposits in the May budget.”
Ironically, the idea of a bank deposit tax was raised by Labor in 2013 and was criticized by Tony Abbott at the time. Much has changed in two years, and as ABC reports, assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has indicated an announcement on the new tax could be made before the budget.
Mr Frydenberg is a member of the Government’s Expenditure Review Committee but has refused to provide any details.
“Any announcements or decisions around this proposed policy which we discussed at the last election will be made in the lead up or on budget night,” he said.
Speaking at the Victorian Liberal State Council meeting Mr Abbott has repeated his budget message, focusing on families and small businesses.
“There will be tough decisions in this year’s budget as there must be, but there will also be good news.”
For the banks and creditors, yes. For anyone who is still naive enough to save money in the hopes of deferring purchases for the future, not so much.
The banking industry has raised concerns about a deposit tax, saying it will have to pass the cost back onto customers.
Steven Munchenberg from the Australian Bankers’ Association said it would be a damaging move for the Government.
“It’s going to make it harder for banks to raise deposits which are an important way of funding banks. And therefore for us to fund the economy,” he said. “And we also oppose it because particularly at this point in time with low interest rates a lot of people who are relying on their savings for their incomes are already seeing very low returns and this will actually mean they get even less money.”