South Australia will boost it bottom line by slugging the big four banks with an extra levy.
In delivering a budget 10 months out from an election, treasurer Tom Koutsantonis flagged a $370 million windfall from the major bank levy over four years.
The state levy, along with an extra 4 per cent on stamp duty for foreign buyers which could raise another $49 million, was justified by a claim from Koutsantonis that the big four were undertaxed and were taking “super profits” from communities.
“They’re continually charging us to take our own money out of the banks, they’re continually charging us to send out our own statements,” he said. “This is an organisation that is making super profits and they’re not paying their fair share of tax.”
The extra cash will help the state government hit a budget surplus of $72 million, down from a projected $383 million in December.
The largest chunk of the budget, $2.2 billion, will go towards infrastructure for schools, Adelaide’s Main Road and train services. Public hospitals will receive $1.1 billion and $200 million will go towards a Future Jobs Fund.
Another $80 million has been pegged to lure new businesse and events to South Australia as the state government attempts to turn around the nation’s worst unemployment figures.
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