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Banks some of the biggest beneficiaries

Finsec Media Statement
17 May 2007
For immediate release

Banks some of the biggest beneficiaries of budget tax bonanza

Overseas shareholders in Australian owned banks will benefit hugely from the corporate tax handouts announced in today’s budget says Finsec, the bank workers union. Finsec estimates the business tax cut could see the profits of Australian owned banks increase by up to $124 million or a staggering 18% of the total tax cuts being given.

Finsec urged the Government to exempt Australian owned banks from any tax cuts in its submission on the Business Tax Review.

"This tax cut will disproportionately benefit the already profitable Australian owned banks. Bank workers are calling on the banks to exercise their corporate social responsibility and invest this tax windfall in their New Zealand business, rather than sending it to overseas shareholders", said Finsec Campaigns Director Andrew Campbell.

"It is unfair that banks get two bites of the cherry. Bank profits are at record highs as a result of the booming housing market and now they get a tax handout too", said Campbell.

"Consistent with the Finance Ministe's call, bank workers want to see investment in the New Zealand business. Improving customer service through increasing staffing levels, training and improvements to staff wages and savings schemes are better uses of the tax windfall than handing it over to shareholders", said Campbell.

"It is in the economic interests of New Zealanders to retain more of the banks wealth here and invest it in this country. Investing more in their New Zealand businesses is the least the banks can do given the historic profits they are already making", said Campbell.


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