Greens MP and banking spokesperson Adam Bandt says soaring bank profits are another reason to delay planned corporate tax cuts in next week's Federal Budget.
Responding to this morning's half-yearly profit announcement of $ 2.66 billion by the ANZ, Mr Bandt said the looming $295 million handout to the big banks could not be justified while the banks are making record profits and the government claims there is not enough revenue to fund government programs.
"At the same time as medical research and social welfare face the Budget axe, the big four banks stand to get $295 million in tax cuts in 2013/14, a figure that will grow with their profits", Mr Bandt said.
"Why should everyday Australians be paying to give big banks a tax break? There is no justification for close to $300 million a year being lost to the taxpayer at the same time as the government is asking the rest of us to tighten our belts"
"Labor has its priorities wrong and should change direction in next week's Budget."
"We are in deficit because we helped Australia avoid the worst of the global financial crisis, caused by the finance sector and banks. But instead of asking banks to contribute their fair share to getting the budget back to surplus, the government is giving them a further handout."
Combined first-half profits for the big four banks are set to hit a record $11.7 billion, as Westpac and the NAB follow the ANZ this week and an earlier announcement of $3.33 billion by the Commonwealth Bank in February.
Mr. Bandt will announce further amendments to his banking reform bill - Banking Amendment (Delivering Essential Financial Services) Bill 2010 - on Thursday. The Senate banking inquiry is due to report on Friday.