“South Australia’s new bank levy exposes the desperation of a government that is unable to get its own budget and spending under control,” Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“The confused rationales for the tax are risible, and the knee-jerk approach to whacking job-creating businesses with ever higher taxes demonstrates how bereft we are becoming of good leadership.
“The great shame is that, by imposing another ‘one-off’ burden on employers, this tax will make us an even less attractive place to invest and hire people.
“South Australia faces 6.9 per cent unemployment – the highest in the country – and persistently weak economic growth that has lagged the national average for seven years now.
“If global businesses are reluctant to invest in Australia, what are the odds they’ll invest in South Australia?
“It beggars belief that instead of supporting policies that will increase the investment needed to create jobs, such as a globally competitive company tax rate, the South Australian government is doing the opposite.
“It is galling that a state government that is not prepared to make tough decisions to strengthen its own economy should impose a tax that will harm the investment environment across the entire country.
“The Turnbull government must bear responsibility for letting the genie out of the bottle.
“All of these ‘one-off’ government decisions, when taken together, have a chilling effect on business investment which is at its lowest level as a share of GDP since June 1994.
“Australia is becoming a laughing stock of global investment circles as erratic governments – state, territory and federal – carelessly undermine and chop and change the rules of doing business.”