“So now, as an infallible way of making little ease great ease, I began to contract a quantity of debt."
At one time or another we have all felt as Pip did in Dickens’ Great Expectations. Being a consumer in 2019 we are faced with fast fashion, digital innovation and an ease of consumption like never before.
Labor will give bank victims a fairer chance to fight for their rights with a $640 million Banking Fairness Fund.
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.
Minister Fletcher’s announcement of a review into financial counselling will be little comfort for consumers facing financial stress. Labor agrees that the financial counselling sector deserves predictability and stability in its funding, this announcement is too little too late. Over the last 5 year the Liberals have shown little or no interest in the challenges facing consumers or the financial counsellors who support them.
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.
Gender pay gap has moved around over time but it remains the case that women are earning, when you take into account total remuneration, $23,000 a year less than men on average. It is actually time for some action and I am enormously proud of the announcement that will be made today. The Labor Party is setting out a series of reforms to the Fair Work Commission that will make it easier for the Commission to make orders in relation to low paid feminised industries.
I couldn’t be prouder than I am today - to be part of the Labor team. On Sunday Bill Shorten told us that from the very first day, a Labor government would strive to deliver equal pay. And today, Tanya and Brendan have announced very significant legal and institutional changes that will do just that.