I listen with dismay to news reports that APRA is urging banks and large businesses to cut or drastically reduce dividends in order to save money and be prepared to ride out the COVID-19 crisis. Last financial year, banks earned $26.9 billion. After the Royal Commission into Australian finance industry, including banks, where reform does not appear to have taken place, the government is giving banks another opening to screw investors, pensioners, and self-funded retirees. ANZ and NAB have already announced they are deferring payment of dividends after their half-year earnings were halved by this crisis to approximately $3 billion between them. You have to feel sorry for them!
The Coalition needs to be reminded that dividends from banks and other large companies forms an integral portion of many pensioners and retirees funding, and by cutting dividends, many lives will be seriously affected, which will only increase the burden on the federal government in increased support payments, which all taxpayers will have to provide. What is interesting, the Labor Party has not made a whimper of protest against this rapacious move by the banks. A party that proclaims itself as the torchbearer for workers’ rights. I trust Labor will raise its voice against this move. The government, with Labor’s support, has taken commendable measures to protect the Australian economy and people during the COVID-19 crisis, but this move to cut dividends is unconscionable.
Write to your member of parliament in protest!