Doorstop, House of Representative Doors

Release Date: 
11 May 2017
Transcript

Topic: Budget commitment to Infrastructure and Project Financing Agency, bank levy

 

ANGUS TAYLOR:

Well I’m absolutely delighted that the Budget has confirmed the establishment of the new Infrastructure Financing Agency. This agency will sit inside the Prime Minister’s department. It will focus on financing major new infrastructure projects. This Budget is firmly focused on major new infrastructure projects across Australia, a $75billion commitment to infrastructure projects and a commitment to doing infrastructure projects differently, to using financing, not just grant funding. The focus here is on ensuring the Federal Government is not just an automatic teller machine for state premiers. The focus here is on great infrastructure projects, doing more and making sure they have real impact. And if we look at projects like Badgerys Creek and if we look at the $10billion urban and regional rail package, this is a major investment in the future of this country.

JOURNALIST:

What do you know about the meeting between banks and Treasury officials this morning?

ANGUS TAYLOR:

Well that’s not my brief. I‘ll leave that to others. But what I do know is this is a fair set of measures in the Budget, it’s a reasonable set of measures in the Budget and we need to understand the proportionality of this proposed levy. It’s a six basis point levy. The banks have profit margins of over 200 basis points. So let’s put this into proportion. It’s a very reasonable measure. It doesn’t need to be passed on to customers and I think it needs to be supported.

JOURNALIST:

What if it is passed on to customers, will the Coalition back down?

ANGUS TAYLOR:

Well I’m saying it doesn’t need to be passed on to customers. We need to put this levy in proportion. It’s a six basis point levy on a portion of the bank’s liabilities when they have profit margins of over 200 basis points. It’s just not necessary for it to be passed on.

JOURNALIST:

There’s an argument that a tax on banks is a tax on customers. The banks have indicated that they will pass on that levy to their customers. Do you think that voters will blame the Government for that?

ANGUS TAYLOR:

Well let me send a very clear message: The banks don’t need to pass on this levy.

JOURNALIST:

  But they’ve said they will.

ANGUS TAYLOR:

Well they don’t need to and that is the point. Let’s be very clear this is a very profitable banking sector by global standards. It’s a very small levy in the scheme of things. It doesn’t need to be passed on.