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Federal budget 2017: Scott Morrison makes promise of better days for government

19 Mai 2017

"We must live within our means and this is an honest budget", Morrison said, adding that a new six-basis point levy on big banks' liabilities, to kick in on July 1, would raise A$6.2 billion over the next four years. According to budget papers, the government expects the fund to ensure an ongoing source of revenue to support Australian skills development and the take-up of apprenticeships and traineeships.

He also gave the major banks both barrels at the breakfast. "The Prime Minister has announced our intention to further develop the Snowy Hydro with Snowy 2.0".

The head of the Australian Bankers' Association called the levy "a direct attack on jobs and growth".

Treasurer Scott Morrison told the Seven Network the ACCC would be "keeping an eye on them to make sure they don't lie to their customers about this".

"That equates to around 5 per cent of the combined group profits of these banks", he said, in a note titled "A Target on their Chests".

"The banks are in a position to support budget fix and we're asking them to do so".

Big nation building projects will get an extra $75 billion over ten years, while schools will get an extra $18.6 billion, and tough new measures will be placed on the financial sector.

Bank executives will be subject to a new accountability regime in which the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority will have the power to sack or disqualify them, claw back their bonuses and enforce penalties on banks of up to $200 million.

Bligh was incredulous on Tuesday night, calling the policy a "reckless move" and claiming it undermined the stability and security of the Australian banking industry.

Now the nation's top five banks - the Commonwealth, NAB, Wespac, ANZ and Macquarie - will be hit with a 0.06 per cent bank levy on their deposits, starting from July 1 this year.

Treasurer Scott Morrison revealed extra funding for police and intelligence agencies as well as an increase in tuition fees for university students.

It will be hard for Labor to argue against one of the biggest imposts in the budget - an $8.2 billion rise in the Medicare levy to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Bank executives will also risk pay cuts and job losses if found guilty of misconduct - a measure that follows scandals, including financial advisers receiving kickbacks.

"This is just, fair, responsible". He said Fitch would look closer at new policy measures on the economy and housing market, "factors we have identified as rating sensitivities in our previous review".

More broadly, Mr Morrison said the government must guarantee "essential services" in order to reduce cost of living pressures on Australians.

The Treasurer has already warned them not to pass it on to consumers, and noted that if they do then the rest of the banking sector would get an advantage.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said the government was playing catch-up and trying to neutralise issues, rather than directly address problems.

Federal budget 2017: Scott Morrison makes promise of better days for government