Bank levy claims by Hartsuyker ruled mostly false

Claims made by Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker that Labor's proposed bank deposit levy will effectively tax people twice on savings have been ruled as mostly false.
Claims made by Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker that Labor's proposed bank deposit levy will effectively tax people twice on savings have been ruled as mostly false. Rob Wright

POLITICAL fact checkers PolitiFact Australia have run their eye over recent statements from Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker regarding a proposed levy on bank deposits and labelled the claims mostly false.

Statements Mr Hartsuyker made in a media release on the subject were published on the Coffs Coast Advocate website on August 9.

"Under Labor you will effectively be taxed twice on your savings - once when you earn the money and again when it sits in the bank," Mr Hartsuyker said.

Having run its eye over the story, PolitiFact labelled the statement mostly false.

Click here to see the ruling on Mr Hartsuyker's claims.

It came to this conclusion after speaking to Professor Kevin Davis from Australian Centre for Financial Studies, Mr Hartsuyker's media contact Greg Pierce as well as investigating documents such as the Australian Bankers Association press release, the Government's economic statement from August 2 and the International Monetary Fund's draft revision to Government Finance Statisctics manual.

The levy on bank deposits, which incidentally the Coalition hasn't yet said it will oppose, is due to start in 2016 and won't be anything like as big as income tax which Mr Hartsuyker implied when he said savers will be taxed twice.

The impost from the 0.05% levy will amount to just $5 per year on a bank account of $10,000,  just 50 cents a year on an account of $1000.

The argument over whether the bank deposit levy is actually a tax has been offered some balance by returning to the times when the Coalition was last in Governement.

PolitiFact's research on this issue showed up the Howard Government introduced the dairy industry restructuring levy and the guns buyback levy among others, insisting that none were taxes.

Mr Hartsuyker office countered that levies during the Howard Government were only temporary.

But so too is the bank deposit levy.

In fact Labor's economic statement says the levy will build the deposit protection fund to a target size and then stop.

PolitiFact's ruling on the Cowper MP's statement regarding the bank levy is simple: "For Hartsuyker to tell voters "you will effectively be taxed twice on your savings" is disingenuous. We rate the statement Mostly False."

Topics:  cowper federal election 2013 luke hartsuyker nationals

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