The Liberals whining via Niki Savva:
The banks should not underestimate the level of exasperation of Coalition MPs, including very conservative ones, about their behaviour, which includes but goes beyond their shabby treatment of customers.
They feel the banks have turned up on the wrong side of battles, whenever they have bothered to turn up. Not only do the banks refuse to pass on the full value of interest rate cuts, MPs accuse the banks of sitting back while the government defended them in the face of demands for a royal commission, copping all the flak for it, only to see the banks appoint a former Labor premier to spruik for them.
Then when the government was slugging it out with Labor over its planned company tax cuts, the banks stayed in a neutral corner. To add insult to injury, after the election they announced they would no longer be making political donations.
Conservative MPs were angered when the banks, along with other corporations, came out in support of same-sex marriage. Moderate MPs were irate because the banks had waited until after the government’s policy to hold a plebiscite was voted down before declaring.
They were infuriated when the banks flaunted their reluctance to provide any money for coalmining in Queensland, which they interpreted as sucking up to the left on climate change. Resources Minister Matt Canavan urged Westpac (which he now calls by its original name, the Bank of New South Wales) to tell demonstrators to bugger off. Instead that’s pretty much what the government has said to the banks, and MPs feel pretty good about it.
The government wants banks and business generally to campaign hard on issues such as tax or economic reform, beyond signing ads in newspapers, although again if the banks take up that challenge on this levy it will be wasting money that should go towards paying the tax. If the banks didn’t know before, they surely must realise now they have few, if any, friends.
The banks have no friends? The banks don’t need friends – they have willing paying customers. As far as I can work out the Liberals have few paying customers, and fewer friends. In any event, the banks are not bitching about not having any friends. Unlike the Liberals (and, to be fair, the Nationals).
Friends watch each others’ backs. Friends don’t let friend pay ever higher taxes. Why would anyone make donations to the Liberal party? Why would anyone fight in their corner? Since 2013 they have been the party of high taxes and arrogance – just like their Labor colleagues.Why would the Liberals expect anyone to fight their battles, when they themselves cannot make a fist? For example, the environmental movement has waged an appalling campaign against business and the government have been nowhere in that fight. When extremists put out false press releases destroying corporate value the perp got a suspended sentence when the maximum punishment was ten years – itself manifestly inadequate in my opinion – and the government did not appeal the sentence! When Matt Canavan says “Westpac [should] tell demonstrators to bugger off” he ignores the fact that dealing with demonstrators is a police function – it is not really the banks role to maintain law and order. I could go on – but you get the idea.
The Liberals do not see the need to invest in friendships and, unsurprisingly, they have none.