Monday, 19 June 2017
Major Bank Levy Bill 2017, Treasury Laws Amendment (Major Bank Levy) Bill 2017; In Committee
It was obviously an inane comment, which we often get from the Greens political party.
Senator Whish-Wilson interjecting—
The TEMPORARY CHAIR: Order!
Senator Dastyari interjecting—
The TEMPORARY CHAIR: Senator Dastyari, no. You should resume your appropriate seat in the chamber if you have something to say; otherwise, it is most disorderly.
Chairman, thank you very much, but I do not need protection from Senator Dastyari or from Senator Whish-Wilson. They have their own problems that are not relevant to this debate. The committee thought that the same committee should, in a couple of years, see whether this was needed to be in perpetuity—whether it needed to be there forever—or whether, once the budget was repaired, the levy should stop. That seemed to me to be a very reasonable compromise, which I had hoped the government would take some notice of.
There were a couple of other things that were raised by witnesses at the committee which formed the basis of recommendations 2 and 3. Again, they are not recommendations that oppose the principle, for the reasons I have mentioned. The committee goes along with the levy, somewhat reluctantly—but we understand why. There was some evidence given at the committee which the committee thought if more fully investigated might actually improve it or might work to the government's disadvantage. I would like to get the minister's comments on how the government is going to deal with the unanimous recommendations of this committee.