Coalition tips Medicare Levy will get over the line

Original article by David Crowe
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 17-Aug-17

The Federal Government is optimistic that its proposed 0.5 per cent increase in the Medicare levy will be passed by the Senate. The bill will be put before the upper house on 17 August, although a vote is unlikely before September. The increase in the levy is one of 10 bills that were endorsed by the Coalition’s partyroom on 16 August. The Opposition is pushing for the increased levy to be restricted to people whose annual income exceeds $A87,000. The Government hopes to secure the support of crossbenchers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, NICK XENOPHON TEAM, ONE NATION PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS

Morgan blasts Morrison’s bank tax as a grab for revenue

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 8-Aug-17

Former Westpac CEO David Morgan has dismissed claims by Treasurer Scott Morrison that the Australian Government’s levy on the nation’s five largest banks. levy will merely offset the implicit government guarantee on bank deposits. However, Morgan supports a regulatory push to ensure that banks are "unquestionably strong", but he notes that higher capital ratios are just one of the measures that are aimed at achieving this. The Chi-X Australia chairman adds that the stock exchange operator will begin offering transferable custody receipts to local investors in late 2017.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, CHI-X AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE, NASDAQ, JC FLOWERS AND COMPANY LLC, ASX LIMITED – ASX ASX, DIGITAL ASSET HOLDINGS, DEUTSCHE BANK AG

‘Dangerous’ bank levy may have domino effect: Bligh

Original article by David Crowe, Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 27-Jul-17

Australian Bankers’ Association CEO Anna Bligh has expressed concern that more state governments could implement their own version of the federal levy on banks. The levy is intended to boost government revenue by $A6.2bn, but Bligh has told the National Press Club that this impost could double if all states introduced their own levy. Bligh also supports Peter Costello’s call for banking industry executives to justify their high salaries, while she has questioned whether a royal commission into banks – as advocated by Labor – is appropriate and necessary.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BANKERS’ ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. FUTURE FUND MANAGEMENT AGENCY, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA), SOUTH AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PREMIER AND CABINET, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE

Tax good for competition: Morrison

Original article by Andrew Tillett, Jacob Greber
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 14-Jul-17

Treasurer Scott Morrison had claimed that limiting the Federal Government’s bank levy to the five major banks would boost competition in the banking sector. However, smaller banks have been increasing their interest rates on higher-risk products such as interest-only loans. Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen says Morrison’s claim that the levy would enhance competition is "complete rubbish".

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, STANDARD AND POOR’S FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, MORTGAGE CHOICE LIMITED – ASX MOC

Canberra has legal doubts on SA bank tax

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 26-Jun-17

The South Australian Government’s levy on the big four banks and Macquarie Group is expected to raise around $A100 million per annum. The tax is additional to the levy that was recently announced by the federal government. Federal minister Christopher Pyne has attacked the SA levy on the grounds that the state government offers no form of guarantee to the banks, thus admitting that the federal levy is in return for it providing a guarantee to them.

CORPORATES
MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. OFFICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN SMALL BUSINESS AND FAMILY ENTERPRISE OMBUDSMAN

Stocks fall on banks’ failure to alter levy

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 23 : 21-Jun-17

Shares in Australia’s four major banks and Macquarie Group were sold down on 21 June, in response to the passage of the Federal Government’s bank levy through Parliament and credit ratings downgrades by Moody’s. The Senate economics legislation committee made a number of recommendations concerning the levy, based on the suggestions of the five banks that will pay it, but they were rejected by the Government. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank does not expect banks’ funding costs to be affected by the ratings downgrades.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, DEUTSCHE BANK AG, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. SENATE ECONOMICS LEGISLATION COMMITEE, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

Morrison bank levy gets over the line

Original article by Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 4 : 20-Jun-17

The Senate has passed a bill to impose a levy on the nation’s five largest banks, after the Australian Labor Party voted for it. However, One Nation opposed the levy, with Senator Brian Burston describing it as a "lazy, ugly, cheap solution". The Senate’s eco­nomics legislation committee has recommended that the levy should be reviewed within two years. Australian Bankers’ Association CEO Anna Bligh says any future review should consider adding a sunset clause to the legislation, but this has been ruled out by Treasurer Scott Morrison.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ONE NATION PARTY, AUSTRALIAN BANKERS’ ASSOCIATION, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

Levy a shock for foreign investors: NAB

Original article by James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 16-Jun-17

The Senate Economics Legislation Committee is currently investigating the bill to implement the Federal Government’s proposed bank levy. National Australia Bank CFO Gary Lennon says foreign investors have expressed concern to him about the tax, including the rushed manner in which it has been adopted. Amongst other things, submissions to the committee have argued that the bill should include a "sunset clause" and that the tax should cover foreign banks.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA. SENATE ECONOMICS LEGISLATION COMMITEE, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, MACQUARIE BANK LIMITED – ASX MBL, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIAN BANKERS’ ASSOCIATION, ME BANK, BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK LIMITED – ASX BEN, CUSTOMER OWNED BANKING ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS

Clause gives ‘unfettered power’ to alter levy: ABA

Original article by Joanna Mather
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 7-Jun-17

Australian Bankers’ Association CEO Anna Bligh has expressed concern that a clause in the bank levy bill would empower the relevant government minister to change the methodology used to calculate the tax. She has also called for the bill to include a "sunset clause" for the levy. Bob Deutsch of the Tax Institute adds that the bill would enable the Government to adjust the levy via a legislative instrument to ensure that revenue meets its forecasts.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BANKERS’ ASSOCIATION, THE TAX INSTITUTE, BUSINESS COALITION FOR TAX REFORM

Both sides dig in for battle over top tax rate

Original article by Phillip Coorey, Laura Tingle
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 1-Jun-17

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will reiterate his party’s stance on increasing the Medicare levy in an address to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia summit. Labor wants the income threshold for the 0.5 per cent increase in the levy to be set at $A87,000, rather than being applied to all income-earners. Shorten will also defend Labor’s own increase in the levy in 2013, arguing that there was strong growth in wages at the time, while there had also been a recent increase in the tax-free threshold.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, COMMITTEE FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY