ActionStation condemns the soaring profits of banks as immoral during the current cost of living crisis, and calls for the Government to intervene on corporate profiteering.

This week, the Commerce Commission Te Komihana Tauhokohoko released its Preliminary Issues paper for the market study into competition in the personal banking sector, which had “persistently high profitability” compared to banks overseas.

While ActionStation welcomes the market study, they add that the Government must take bold and urgent action to stem high profits in the interest of everyday people, as increasing costs continue to put a strain on households.

“The numbers speak for themselves. Fourteen months is a long time for people struggling to pay their interest rates while they watch the big banks rake in obscene profits. It’s time to accept that our banking system is funneling wealth from ordinary people to giant offshore companies and this is simply unconscionable during a time where everyday people are living through a cost of living crisis”, says Kassie Hartendorp, ActionStation Director.”

This week, ActionStation surveyed over 1300 members who said they are concerned that political parties are not taking enough action on the cost of living crisis. When asked to rank their preferred flagship policies released so far, fairer tax rules dominated the top five:

Introducing a tax-free threshold of $15,000 – $30,000

Introduce a Wealth Tax and guarantee everyone a basic weekly income

Increase funding to public transport (buses, trains, trams)

Increase company tax to address wealth inequality

Introduce rent controls (e.g. a cap on rent and increases) and a rental warrant of fitness (e.g. a minimum standard for healthy homes)

“What we need are cost of living solutions that look after all of us- not just the CEOs and shareholders of major banks. The Government can and should take firm action to rebalance the scales of our economy. Besides addressing competition rules, another option is to consider calling on our largest corporations to contribute profits back into our public good via an increase in company tax.”

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ActionStation is currently campaigning for strengthened public services that are funded by an increase in corporate tax. They have an active membership of 200,000 people and are independent from political parties.

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