9 November 2023
The SA Greens are calling for the State Government to apply a tax on the big banks with the money raised going to tackle the state’s deepening teacher crisis, as educators strike today.
“While the big four banks continue to rake in massive profits off the back of soaring interest rates, we have our public school system at breaking point after years of under investment,” said Greens Treasury Spokesperson, Robert Simms, MLC.
“The Malinauskas Government should be prioritising funding for public schools and their teachers. The Government has the capacity to resolve this crisis today if they make the right budget choices.”
“It’s a bit rich for the Government to cry poor when they are pouring $15 billion into a North/South corridor road project and spending over $100 million on a controversial new police barracks.”
“There are options available to raise revenue to invest in public services like education. A Big Bank Levy would raise $340 million a year. The money raised could go towards actually paying our teachers what they are worth and investing in our public schools to improve outcomes for students.”
“Labor proposed a Big Bank Levy back in 2017 but abandoned it after it was blocked by the Upper House. The Government now needs only two votes to get this revenue measure through the Upper House and the Greens are willing to work with the Government to make it a reality.”
“It’s simply not fair that big banks are allowed to make obscene profits during this economic crisis, while essential public services like health and education are crippled by under investment.”
The Greens estimate a Big Bank Levy similar to Labor’s 2017 plan would raise at least $1.3 billion over four years – money which could be directed towards our public schools, with extra classroom support and a reduction in face-to-face teaching time.
Last financial year, Commonwealth Bank reported $10.18 billion in net profit and Westpac reported $7.2 billion in net profit, while NAB reported $5.97 billion in the first three quarters of last financial year and ANZ reported $3.82 billion profit in the first half of last financial year.