WA threatens bank tax

WA threatens bank tax
West Australian Treasurer Ben Wyatt has warned the Turnbull government his government will introduce a bank tax if his state doesn’t get its fair share of the good and services tax.

Mr Wyatt said the decision might depend on the outcome of the Productivity Commission review of the GST. The commission’s interim report is due in the coming weeks.

The cash-strapped West Australian government has been demanding changes to the rate it gets of 34 cents in the dollar.

Mr Wyatt said a new bank levy might be the only way WA could repair the Budget if the Turnbull government did not follow through with key commission findings that benefit his state.

“Ultimately, the decision on a bank levy will very much be determined by the response of the Turnbull Government to the Productivity Commission inquiry,” Mr Wyatt told the West Australian.

“The State got rid of its bank taxes as part of the GST deal. But if the GST system isn’t working, then we will have to look at a bank levy.”

Bankers attacked the suggestion.

“WA is rightly questioning how they only receive a GST share of less than 35 cents in the dollar,” Australian Bankers Association chief executive Anna Bligh said.

“But a new tax on banks is not the answer. It is short-term political thinking that will cause long-term economic damage.

“Banks are already the largest corporate taxpayers in the country and contribute significantly to the WA Budget through payroll tax.”


An award winning author and journalist, commentator, lecturer, and speaker, Leon is a freelance business journalist who covers a range of areas including politics, strategy, globalization, leadership and all the big trends ahead. His main skill is summing up all the news that’s around. For the last 30 years, his main focus has been on management issues. He also produces two podcasts for RMIT University, Talking Business and Talking Technology. Leon has worked for Fairfax, News Limited, AAP and the Herald and Weekly Times.

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