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Government should share: Cicutto

NATIONAL Australia Bank managing director, CEO and Australian Bankers Association chairman Frank Cicutto has called on the government to share the social responsibility resulting from

economic changes.

Mr Cicutto said while John Howard recently reminded banks of their social obligations, the entire corporate sector and government had an obligation to the community.

Mr Cicutto turned the pressure on the Government while addressing a recent Australian Institute of Company Directors’ lunch.

“Given that banks are the largest corporate tax payers in Australia, I believe it would be fair to argue those taxes should be used to lessen the impact of both corporate and government policies throughout Australia,” he said.

“Governments cannot simply withdraw from service provision, increase their share of corporate tax revenue and at the same time argue that corporates are obligated to fill

community service delivery gaps.”

He said economic benefits were not being enjoyed by all.

“There is compelling evidence that an increasing number are being precluded from these benefits, whether through unemployment, social dislocation or a lack of education and opportunities,”

Mr Cicutto said.

“Companies such as the NAB need to align their commercial power and influence with the community influence of Australia’s major community service organisations,” Mr Cicutto said.

“Business can and should work constructively with community groups to address social issues,” he said.

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