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Greens move to save $18 billion lost from corporate tax revenue

The Labor government’s proposed reduction of the corporate tax rate from 30% to 29% will cost other taxpayers $2.4 billion in 2013-14 and $18 billion over the next decade, new figures released today by Greens Leader Bob Brown show.

“At a time of huge budget cuts in Australia, we will oppose the government’s proposed corporate tax cut for big business,” Senator Brown said in Melbourne, where he will deliver the keynote speech today at the ACOSS 2011 National Conference.

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Australian Greens seek proper scrutiny of ASX merger

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said the benefits of a foreign buy out of the Australian Stock Exchange need to be clearly proven.

"The ACCC's narrow mandate is no substitute for a responsible government decision," Senator Brown said.

 "The Greens will not support any move to exempt the 15% shareholder cap on the Australian Stock Exchange to allow it to be taken over by the Singapore Exchange unless benefits can be clearly proven."

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Reserve Bank facing new senate inquiry bid

Today's revelation in the Age that the Reserve Bank's subsidiary Securency funnelled $7.25 million offshore last year in suspect dealings warrants a Senate Inquiry. 

This is despite the police investigations already underway into earlier accusations, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said in Melbourne today.

"If these front page allegations are true, the Reserve Bank can be seen as a colossal failure in applying due diligence to its half-owned Securency subsidiaries," Senator Brown said.

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Greens move to stop banks increasing rates beyond RBA

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown today announced new plans to legislate to put a 24 month freeze on banks being able to increase interest rates beyond the Reserve Bank rate. The new action also aims to ensure banks pass on decreases to official Reserve Bank rates to customers for the next 24 months.  

The new legislative action is in addition to a bill to make banking fairer which Greens MP Adam Bandt will introduce to the Lower House tomorrow. 

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Banks, Parties should back Greens bill on exit fees

Australian Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown has called on Australian banks to back Greens legislation to ban unfair mortgage exit fees.

The Greens bill, introduced to the Senate by Senator Brown in April, would cap bank mortgage exit fees at the actual and reasonable cost to the lender, and ensure that banks included plain English explanation of any exit fees in their advertising. 

"If the big four are fair dinkum about getting rid of unfair exit fees, they will publicly support my legislation to enshrine the reform in law," said Senator Brown.

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Australian Greens flag concern on ASX merger

The Australian Greens will be scrutinising closely the proposed merger of the Australian Stock Exchange and the Singapore Exchange.

Australian Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown said he had concerns about potential negative impacts from a foreign buy out of the Australian Stock Exchange.

Senator Brown said Parliamentarians need to be sure that the benefits of the ASX becoming a foreign owned international exchange needed to be clearly proven.

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Greens legislation to control mortgage hikes already in Parliament


Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown called on all parties to support Greens legislation already before both Houses of Parliament that would control unfair mortgage increases.

"My banking bill is already in the Senate and Adam Bandt MP yesterday gave notice of his intention to introduce it into the House of Representatives," said Senator Brown.

"The bill not only protects customers from unfair mortgage hikes but would also ban set $2 bank ATM fees and ensure all banks offered basic fee-free accounts.

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Fairer Banking

Banking is an essential service. A basic bank account is essential to function properly in present day Australian society. This means that the nature of banking services – the kinds of financial products that are offered and the fees that are charged – has a very broad impact.

Consequently, the welfare of consumers should be protected by law and not, as is currently the case, by the self-regulation of the banking industry.

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Banks must be reined in: Brown

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said that the record $6.1 billion profit posted by the Commonwealth Bank yesterday showed that better regulations were needed for the banking sector.

"The average Australian pays around $1000 in bank fees every year," said Senator Brown.

"That is too much.

"The Greens Fairer Banking Bill outlines a range of measures to protect consumers from excessive profiteering by the big banks.

"To start with, we would ban $2 bank ATM fees, which penalise poorer people the most.

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