The Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS -

un­veiled in the Bud­get, ac­cus­ing Trea­surer Scott Mor­ri­son of treat­ing them like a “magic pud­ding”.

They slammed it as a “stealth tax” on ev­ery­one that would hit ac­count fees, in­ter­est rates and share­hold­ings.

Av­er­age Aussies could be whacked an ex­tra $450 a year on a $300,000 mort­gage as banks seek to re­coup some of the dam­age, ex­perts warn. Al­ready $15 bil­lion has been wiped off the mar­ket value of the big banks.

Un­der Bud­get changes, the Com­mon­wealth Bank, West­pac, NAB, ANZ and the Mac­quarie will have to stump up the $6.2 bil­lion over the next four years through the new levy. It will raise $1.6 bil­lion next year.

Com­mon­wealth Bank chief Ian Narev warned: “It is a sim­ple fact of busi­ness that ev­ery ex­tra cost needs to be borne by cus­tomers, share­hold­ers, or a com­bi­na­tion of both. There is no such thing as a cost be­ing ab­sorbed.”

But the Trea­surer was not back­ing down, blast­ing the big banks’ threat to pass on the cost to cus­tomers.

“One and a half bil­lion is raised and there’s an an­nual profit of those banks com­bined of more than $30 bil­lion. Give me a break. That’s what Aus­tralians will also be say­ing,” Mr Mor­ri­son said yes­ter­day.

Trea­surer Scott Mor­ri­son speaks to the Na­tional Press Club in Can­berra yes­ter­day. Pic­ture: KYM SMITH

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