Miscellaneous 2017

A comparable landscape: Ascertaining the policy in Australia's bank levy

Source: The Tax Specialist Journal Article

Published Date: 1 Oct 2017

 

When the government released its 2017-18 Budget, one of the more surprising announcements was the proposal of a bank levy targeting the five major Australian banks. The full policy objectives of the balance sheet-based bank levy were not clearly articulated and raised further questions. These questions appeared to be answered when the Major Bank Levy Bill 2017 and accompanying explanatory memorandum were introduced into parliament. However, the purposes of the bank levy appeared manifold and represented a confusing policy cocktail that paid homage to international experience but did not draw as strong a connection between the design of the levy and its policy. This article explores the policy reasons for the implementation of the bank levy, and includes a discussion of whether the design of the levy is appropriate in light of the objectives stated by the government. The article also considers the experiences of certain European countries which have implemented a bank levy in recent years, and the policy rationale employed in those instances.

Author Profile
Priscilla Varsanyi

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