Greens plan to slug $4.7b from banks to fix budget
BIG banks would be forced to cough up an extra $4.7 billion over the next four years under a Greens plan to plug a hole in the Palaszczuk Government's battered budget.
The Courier-Mail can reveal Greens MP Michael Berkman will on Thursday outline plans for legislation that would allow Queensland Treasury to levy the five biggest banks, the Commonwealth, NAB, Westpac, ANZ and Macquarie.
The levy is a super-charged version of the tax proposed by the former Labor government in South Australia three years ago which was condemned by banks and business groups and eventually defeated by Liberal and crossbench MPs in that state's upper house.
The proposal comes after Treasurer Jackie Trad on Wednesday took aim at the Morrison Government for short-changing Queensland on the GST ahead of what is expected to be a tough budget in April.
Mr Berkman said the Palaszczuk Government would have to choose between making banks pay their fair share or backing Anna Bligh, the former Labor premier turned bank lobbyist.
"The question for Labor is: do they support more money for health, education and jobs, or do they support the big banks?" he said.
"It was good enough for South Australian Labor, so it should be good enough for Queensland Labor … unless Labor politicians have similar retirement plans to our last Labor premier.
"I hope Anna Bligh's position as head of the banking lobby won't influence Queensland Labor's view of my Bill."
South Australia estimated a 0.0015 per cent levy would raise $370 million over four years. The Greens want a 0.05 per cent levy on Queensland's share of each bank's liabilities and claim it would raise $4.7 billion over four years.
Ms Trad said $12.2 billion of federally funded projects had been exempt from impacting each state's GST income since 2015 but none of them had been in Queensland.
She called for the Haughton Pipeline in Townsville and the Brisbane Metro, both co-funded by the Commonwealth, to be exempted so Queensland's GST share was not penalised.
"If the Prime Minister truly believed that Queensland is good, then he ought to believe that we are entitled to our fair share," Ms Trad said.