CONTROVERSIAL BANK LEVY SHOULD BE APPLIED TO OTHER BIG BUSINESSES, BOURIS SAYS
16 May 2017, Written by Ben Hall
THE BANK LEVY imposed on the so-called 'Big Five' should be extended to include all government-licenced companies with a turnover of $1 billion or more, according to Yellow Brick Road executive chairman Mark Bouris.
Speaking at the launch of 2017 Gold Coast Queensland Small Business Week, Bouris also says the money raised should be used exclusively to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The business guru and Celebrity Apprentice star, who founded and sold Wizard Home Loans for $500 million in 2004, says when the bank levy was announced during the federal budget last Tuesday, he was approached by several media outlets for his view on the tax.
"I held back from saying what I really thought about it (the bank levy) and maybe I was fearful of what people in the industry would say to me," Bouris recalls.
"Because of the position I'm in, I guess they wanted me to stick the boot into the banks as that seemed to be the general sentiment at the time.
"But really, this levy shouldn't just apply to the banks. The six basis points should be applied to any Government-licenced company, like banks and miners, which are $1 billion and above entities.
"So, if you hold a government licence, and you're big enough, then these contributions should be made to fund the NDIS.
"This also means there can be no argument over how the money is spent."
Bouris' comments were made as National Australia Bank chairman Ken Henry came under criticism for saying the bank levy, designed to raise $6.2 billion over four years to repair the budget, will be passed on to customers to replace the funds "confiscated by Canberra".
The Big Five which includes Commonwealth, ANZ, NAB, Westpac and Macquarie Group have all indicated they will ultimately be paid for by customers.
"I have no doubt the banks will pass on the costs of the levy," Bouris says.
"Of course they will. The introduction of the levy is a populist move and this is simply politics at its best."
Business News Australia
Author: Ben Hall