A Fair Economy
I believe our economy should serve its people. Labor will always work for an economy that is both strong and fair. We can deliver growth, efficiency and social justice when we provide quality education and training, support industries to provide jobs that are fairly paid and stable, and recognise the distinct needs of regional Australia, all while embracing the potential of technology and innovation. Australia is at its best when the benefits of economic growth are there for all to share.
Commissioner Hayne has finished his work. He has prepared his report, he has released it, and the Royal Commission has made 76 recommendations to protect consumers, to stop the rorts and rip-offs in the financial sector that hurt people so much. Unfortunately the Government is dragging its feet on implementing these recommendations.
Well, this is a damning report on the industry and an indictment on a culture of greed and I think it aligns with the community's perception about the problems in the sector. But the Commissioner has done his work now and it is up to the politicians and to the Parliament to respond.
I wanted to make a few remarks about the significance of today’s inquiry. More than two years ago, the present Government received a report telling them that there was an urgent need for reform around small amount credit. That pay day loans were out of control, that people were experiencing real hardship. In the years since, we’ve seen the banking royal commission expose just how badly things can go when you’re not watching carefully in the financial services industry. Unfortunately, for years, the Government has refused to act on reforms that were proposed for small amount credit contracts.
Labor is announcing today that we will move to give ASIC new powers to protect consumers by including ‘buy now, pay later’ providers in the scope of new design and distribution obligations and product intervention powers.
A Senate Committee has recommended greater tax transparency for for-profit aged care providers. The Senate Economics References Committee report into Financial and Tax Practices of For-Profit recommends that for-profit aged care organisations that are in receipt of large sums of public money should be subject to more rigorous transparency protocols. Australians have the right to know the tax practices of large corporations.
Labor has moved to establish a Senate Inquiry to examine financial services that were excluded from the terms of reference of the Financial Services Royal Commission.
Nobody can accuse Australian women of not pulling their weight in the Australian economy. Many women go to work, they work hard for their employers then they go home and do a second shift looking after kids or looking after other family members.