Banks hit with new levy, potentially costing billions

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.

Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison introduced the levy on Australia's five biggest banks - Westpac, ANZ, Commonwealth, National Australia Bank and Macquarie Group - in yesterday's budget, saying it was a "fair contribution" that would help competition and budget fix.

"The $6 billion tax on bank liabilities has got the banks on the warpath".

This comes at a cost of $2.2 billion over four years.

"This represents an additional and fair contribution from our major banks, is similar to measures imposed in other advanced countries, and will even up the playing field for smaller banks", Mr Morrison said.

A levy on the biggest banks and crackdown on multinational tax avoidance could well be out of the Greens' playbook.

John Velazquez Says Always Dreaming Is Todd Pletcher's Best Kentucky Derby Horse
Long shots Lookin at Lee and Battle of Midway were next across the line in slow conditions caused by rains Friday and Saturday. Classic Empire finished fourth, followed by Practical Joke , Tapwrit, Gunnevera, McCraken, Gormley and Irish War Cry.

"I think they would be very concerned if there is a punitive tax or levy that singles banking out from the rest of the business sector", she told ABC radio. "Mum and dad investors will continue to be able to use negative gearing, supporting the supply of rental housing and placing downward pressure on rents".

Senior banking executives will also be more accountable as they will be forced to be registered with APRA and can be deregistered and stripped of bonuses for any misconduct.A permanent team will also be set up within the ACCC to investigate competition in the sector. The government would say there is no direct impact on customers so they should be spared.

The Government will launch a "one-stop shop" where Australians can take their complaints about the financial sector called the Australian Financial Complaints Authority.

School funding - The Federal Government want to ensure students with the same needs will get the same support regardless of where they live and attend school.

So the Treasurer has delivered a budget that lifts the Medicare levy for all but the lowest income earners in two years' time.

In foreign policy, defense spending was projected to rise by 5.3 percent a year through to fiscal 2021, reaching almost A$34 billion.

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Foreign workers were also hit, with a $1.2 billion levy on their employers to fund training for local workers.

Defence will slash $70 million of spending on contractors and travel costs in 2017-2018, and cuts will steadily increase to $85.7 million in 2020-21.

The headwinds faced by the banks are many. "But by adopting a comprehensive approach, by working together, by understanding the spectrum of housing needs, we can make a difference". But he's been less emphatic on the capital gains tax discount, which allows landlords to pay tax at their marginal rate on only 50 per cent of the capital gains they realise when they sell a property.

While it's still unclear what the full package will involve in terms of housing affordability, there is an understanding that measures may be introduced to help potential first home buyers save for a deposit.

The government has foreshadowed extra spending on health and education, tax breaks for first home buyers, infrastructure investment and more money for defense and national security.

Joey Logano's Richmond win won't count towards NASCAR playoffs after penalty
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