Media Release: Senate Inquiry Calls Out Government Inaction on Payday Loans, Consumer Leases and Debt Vultures
10.20am | February 27, 2019
SENATOR JENNY MCALLISTER
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
MEMBER, SENATE ECONOMICS REFERENCE COMMITTEE
SENATE INQUIRY CALLS OUT GOVERNMENT INACTION ON PAYDAY LOANS, CONSUMER LEASES, AND DEBT VULTURES
The Senate Committee’s report into Credit and financial services targeted at Australians at risk of financial urges the government to end years of inaction and legislate to protect consumers from being exploited by financial service providers.
The inquiry examined a number of credit products and financial services that are marketed to low income Australians and were not examined over the course of the banking Royal Commission.
The committee heard evidence of appalling behaviour by pay day lenders, consumer lease providers and debt management firms. The Coalition Government has stood idly by as these companies targeted consumers in financial stress, pushing them into a debt spiral.
It is 815 days since the Coalition Government accepted the recommendations of the Small Amount Credit Contracts review to stop pay day lending and consumer lease rip off merchants.
It is 486 says since the Coalition Government released draft legislation to protect Australian consumers.
The inquiry report recommends that the Government take immediate action and pass this legislation.
Labor has already acted - on Monday we introduced a Private Member’s Bill to parliament addressing pay day lending and consumer lease rip offs. It is now for the Government to come to the table and pass the bill. Consumers have waited too long.
More needs to be done to protect and support those in financial stress while providing options for affordable credit.
The Senate report recommends that greater funding be provided to financial counsellors, ensuring they have the capacity and capability to meet the overwhelming demand for help.
This report shines a light on the years of exploitation of vulnerable consumers by financial providers.
Labor is committed to protecting consumers and holding the finance sector to account.
A Shorten Labor Government will go further than the Liberals in implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission and stand up for Australians affected by banking misconduct by establishing a ground-breaking victim compensation package.
It is time for a government that looks out for consumers rather than protects the people ripping them off.
FRIDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 2018
MEDIA CONTACT: NATHAN ROBERTSON 0436 632 388