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    TURNBULL GOVERNMENT STITCH-UP WITH BANKS OVER DETAILS OF HEARINGS

    The Turnbull Government has serious questions to answer about their apparent special treatment for the big banks ahead of a public inquiry designed to scrutinise their practices and bury the need for a Royal Commission into Australia’s financial services sector.

    The Government has given the inside lane to their best friends, the big banks, by allowing them to choose the dates they will appear before the public inquiry before the inquiry was even established.

    This is nothing but a stitch-up by a government and a Prime Minister that will do anything to avoid a Royal Commission into the banking and financial services sector.

    Bringing the banks to Canberra for a one-day hearing, in the middle of the school holidays, at a prearranged time is not what we need to get to the heart of the issues in the banking and financial services sector.

    The dates for the inquiry have been set without the input of committee MPs. This was done in secret and in partnership with the banks.

    The Government must reveal why they thought it appropriate to allow the banks to dictate terms of the public enquiry.

    The inquiry hasn’t even started and already the Government is giving the banks special treatment. The Turnbull Government must answer the following questions:

    • When did they first approach the banks about possible dates? 
    • On whose direction did they do so given the Committee was not established until last night?
    • Did Government representatives specifically offer to hold the hearings outside of a parliamentary sitting week? 
    • Did any Government MP on the committee speak with the Treasurer or his office about hearing dates for bank executives prior to the committee finalising the timetable?
    • What correspondence has passed backwards and forwards, and will it be publically released?

    Yet again, the Turnbull Government is bending over backwards to help the big banks. This is further proof that they are desperate to protect the banks from a Royal Commission.

    Labor will not stop pushing for a Royal Commission because we know that this is the only way to hold the sector accountable for what has happened in the past, and to stop these scandals from happening in the future.

    FRIDAY, 16 SEPTEMBER 2016

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    ONE YEAR OF TURNBULL: NO JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS OF BANKING & FINANCIAL SCANDALS

    Malcolm Turnbull’s biggest achievement in the past 12 months has been his defence of the banks.

    After one year in office Malcolm Turnbull has shown he’d rather defend the banks from a Royal Commission than defend the victims of banking and financial services rip-offs.

    How is it that the Prime Minister who is supposed to govern for all Australians can ignore the heartbreaking stories of those who have been left financially ruined by their banks or financial advisers?

    Over the past 12 months we've learnt that Malcolm Turnbull will do whatever it takes to avoid a Royal Commission, and he's turned his back on those hard working Australians who have fallen victim to financial scandals.

    I have met victims of financial scandals over the past few weeks and their personal stories highlight exactly why we need a royal commission, to shine a light on the scandals that have left these victims with nothing, but also ensure that these heartbreaking cases, the scandals, the rip-offs never happen again.

    Labor will continue to push for a Royal Commission because we know that this is the only way to hold the sector accountable for what has happened in the past and stop the scandals in the future.

    After one year in office, the one thing Malcolm Turnbull has proven is you can him out of the investment bank, but you can’t take the investment banker out of Malcolm Turnbull.

    WEDNESDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER 2016

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    "IRON CLAD" SUPERANNUATION REFORMS A TURNBULL SHAMBLES

    The superannuation mess is an emblematic example of the failure and division of the Turnbull Government. 

    Four months since the Government’s retrospective superannuation reforms were announced in the Budget, the Coalition remains so divided that they are unable to bring the legislation forward to implement these changes.

    If the Prime Minister really thinks that the division and disunity his super reform package has created is a “great achievement” , then he really is a Prime Minister in office but not in power. 

    For the past 15 months Labor has made it clear that we are up for serious reform and having a constructive discussion with the Government over how to make the super system fairer while assisting with budget repair. 

    Labor’s plan delivers more budget savings than the Government’s without retrospectivity, improving the Budget by $238 million over the forward estimates and $4.4 billion over the medium term. This is above and beyond the savings claimed by the Liberals but set to be undermined by their own infighting.

    Malcolm Turnbull promised reforms to superannuation but just like on so much else during his first year in the job, he has failed to deliver.

    WEDNESDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER 2016

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    TURNBULL & MORRISON LOSE CONTROL IN "IRON-CLAD" SUPER SHAMBLES

    In the latest embarrassing development in the Government’s superannuation shambles, Scott Morrison is today expected to release draft legislation without any reference to significant elements of the reform package including the controversial $500,000 retrospective contributions cap that has been tearing the Government apart.

    The Prime Minister has repeatedly claimed that these reforms are "iron-clad” and would be taken to the Parliament as they were announced in the budget.

    If anything less than the full legislative superannuation reform package is released today it is a very public and humiliating admission that he and his Treasurer have completely lost control over these important reforms.

    Australia's superannuation system is recognised as a world leader in providing for retirement incomes for older Australians and we cannot allow it to become a play thing for various members of the government to use as they wage their internal, divisive battles with each other.

    Labor will engage constructively to implement super reforms which are fair, which assist with budget repair and which promote confidence in the superannuation system for the long term.

    Labor’s plan delivers more budget savings than the Government’s without retrospectivity, improving the Budget by $238 million over the forward estimates and $4.4 billion over the medium term. This is above and beyond the savings claimed by the Liberals but set to be undermined by their own infighting.

    Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison need to get back in charge, take control and release the full legislative package so that it can be considered as a whole. Anything less is yet another example of this Government being in office but not in power.

    WEDNESDAY 7 SEPTEMBER, 2016

    Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Small Business and Financial Services. 

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    SUPERANNUATION POLICY BY POWERPOINT

    Treasurer Scott Morrison’s humiliation at the hands of his backbench has deepened today, with news he has resorted to shopping around a PowerPoint presentation to convince the Liberal party room to support his superannuation plans, four months after they were published in the Budget.

    In the four months since Scott Morrison first floated his plans to tackle unfair superannuation tax breaks, the Treasurer still hasn’t convinced his Coalition colleagues to back them, much less worked out how to legislate them in the Parliament.

    Scott Morrison has completely stuffed up these important reforms for our country.

    Labor is up for serious reform and having a responsible discussion with the Government over how to make the super system fairer.

    Labor’s plan delivers more budget savings than the Government’s without retrospectivity, improving the Budget by $238 million over the forward estimates and $4.4 billion over the medium term. This is above and beyond the savings claimed by the Liberals but set to be undermined by their own infighting.

    Releasing a PowerPoint presentation instead of legislation makes a mockery of the importance of these reforms and confirms everyone’s thoughts that this is a Government in office but not in power.

    Scott Morrison needs to stop with the stunts and release the government’s superannuation tax legislation. 

    TUESDAY, 6 SEPTEMBER 2016

    Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Small Business and Financial Services.

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    TURNBULL V ABBOTT - PM LOSES CONTROL OF ‘IRON CLAD’ SUPER REFORMS

    The Turnbull Government has suffered yet another internal blow with former Prime Minister Tony Abbott backing fellow conservatives to undermine the Government's proposed changes to superannuation.

    Tony Abbott's latest intervention supports other Government MPs including South Australian Tony Pasin, George Christensen, Trent Zimmerman, Michelle Landry and Ian MacDonald to rail again Scott Morrison’s embattled super reforms.

    The Prime Minister has repeatedly assured Australians that the super reforms outlined in the Budget and taken to the election were "iron-clad” but that commitment is being ripped to shreds by MP's loyal to Tony Abbott. 

    It is clear from the superannuation shambles that members of the Government would rather fight each other than put the "moral challenge of budget repair" first.  

    Labor is up for serious reform and having a responsible discussion with the Government over how to make the super system fairer. 

    Labor’s plan delivers more budget savings than the Government’s without retrospectivity, improving the Budget by $238 million over the forward estimates and $4.4 billion over the medium term. This is above and beyond the savings claimed by the Liberals but set to be undermined by their own infighting.

    After a week of challenges to the Prime Minister's authority, including clashes with conservative MPs over 18C reforms, the stuff up on the floor of the house leading to the Government losing votes and now the Abbott outbreak on superannuation, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison have lost control of their government. 

    Malcolm Turnbull is in office but is clearly not in power.

    SATURDAY 3 SEPTEMBER, 2016

    Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Small Business and Financial Services.

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    ANYTHING BUT A ROYAL COMMISSION FROM TURNBULL GOVERNMENT

    Malcolm Turnbull’s desperate attempts to avoid a Royal Commission into the banking and financial services sector have hit a farcical low with the announcement that he has ordered a review of the findings of a previous bank inquiry.

    Australians can see this for exactly what it is: Malcolm Turnbull’s fourth attempt at a ‘look over there’ diversion from the growing clamour for a Royal Commission.

    On the one hand, the Government maintains that the problems in our banking sector are not serious or systemic enough to require a Royal Commission.

    Yet we have now seen them announce four different mechanisms for tackling problems they say don’t exist, including:

    ·         New funding and powers for ASIC

    ·         Annual appearances before the Liberal-controlled House Economics Committee

    ·         A bank tribunal that will replicate the existing Financial Ombudsman Service

    ·         And now a Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman review of the findings of an inquiry the Senate has already concluded.

    Every time the Prime Minister announces another toothless review mechanism, he reinforces the need for a Royal Commission while confirming he is too beholden to the banks to deliver one.

    Australia needs a Royal Commission to systematically examine the rip offs and scandals and find out what cultural practices need to change to fix a sector that has proven it cannot reform itself.

    Labor will not stop pushing for a Royal Commission because we know that this is the only way to hold the sector accountable for what has happened in the past and stop the scandals in the future.

    How many more weak and ineffective reviews will the Prime Minister come up with before he finally acknowledges this fact? 

    Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Small Business and Financial Services.

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    "IRON CLAD" SUPER REFORMS NOT A PRIORITY ACCORDING TO TURNBULL AGENDA

    Malcolm Turnbull’s “iron clad” superannuation reforms, announced in this year’s budget, appear to have fallen off the list of legislative priorities to be introduced into parliament this week according to the list of Bills approved by the Coalition party room today.

    These reforms, announced four months ago, are still to be ticked off by the Coalition party room, despite the Government talking tough about the need for urgent budget savings.

    The delays are purely of the Government’s own making. The disunity within the Government ranks and Scott Morrison’s failure to finalise the draft legislation seriously throws into doubt the current timetable for reform. 

    Last week Labor offered Mr Turnbull a path out of his superannuation stuff up, but he has stubbornly refused to take it.

    Labor’s plan delivers more budget savings than the Government’s without retrospectivity, improving the Budget by $238 million over the forward estimates and $4.4 billion over the medium term. This is above and beyond the savings delivered by the Liberals’ retrospective changes.

    In addition, Labor will oppose three of the Government’s superannuation measures that actually cost the Budget $1.5 billion over the forward estimates and $14.7 billion over the decade. This is not affordable in the current climate.

    Winding back generous super tax concessions for high income earners is important reform and Labor is up for getting it done.

    It's time for the PM to bring his superannuation reforms to the Parliament. Failure to do so will undermine confidence in the superannuation system, push out much needed reforms for another year and blow a hole in the budget savings that the Treasurer has already booked. 

    MONDAY, 29 AUGUST 2016

    Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Small Business and Financial Services.

     

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    COALITION BACKBENCH WRITING MALCOLM TURNBULL’S BUDGET

    The Turnbull Government’s superannuation mess has deepened with Scott Morrison flagging further changes to the superannuation reforms announced in the last Budget and labelled “iron clad” by the Prime Minister just weeks ago.

    And the Treasurer has broken the Government’s promise to fast-track legislation for the start of Parliament, finally admitting it won’t be ready.

    The Prime Minister and Treasurer have repeatedly claimed that the changes taken to the election would not change and would be presented to Parliament as they were outlined in the Budget.

    JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, your superannuation policy has led to some ructions within the Party and within the traditional Liberal voter base. Can you foresee any circumstance in which the policy as detailed in the May 3 budget will change following the election? Is it ironclad?

    PRIME MINISTER: It is absolutely ironclad. Yes, the commitment that we have made in the budget are our policy. If we are returned we’ll implement those policies. I believe they are fair. 5AA – 3 June 2016

    --

    JOURNALIST: Do you concede that some changes will need to be made to superannuation reforms you announced in the budget given what Arthur Sinodinos said yesterday and unrest on the backbench?

    SCOTT MORRISON: No.

    JOURNALIST: No changes at all?

    SCOTT MORRISON: No, we don’t believe so, these are the right changes for Australia, they’re the right changes for Australia because what they are doing is making our superannuation system sustainable. – Press Conference, June 2, 2016.

    But before the legislation has even been drafted, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison look set to cave to their party room, with the Treasurer  touring the country to ask angry backbenchers what it will take to stop them crossing the floor.

    SCOTT MORRISON: "We're consulting heavily. That's one of the reasons I'm here in town today," – 5AA Radio, August 18, 2016.

    Who is actually running this government? It's clearly not the Prime Minister or the out-of-his-depth Treasurer.

    Just weeks ago the Government claimed to be fast-tracking its superannuation legislation in order to have it ready by the time Parliament sits on 30 August.

    The Treasurer now admits the legislation will not be ready for some weeks – demonstrating just how much wheedling he still has to do to get his own party to support it.    

    Labor has consistently said that we would work with the Government to achieve superannuation reforms that are fair and sustainable. That is why we have called for an independent review of the Government’s super reform package.

    Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison and Minister-in-name-only Kelly O’Dwyer need to put the interests of Australians and our world class superannuation system ahead of internal Liberal party divisions.

    Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Small Business and Financial Services.

     

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    MALCOLM TURNBULL MISFIRES WITH LIBERAL-DOMINATED BANK COMMITTEE HEARING

    There is nothing a weak Prime Minister won’t do to protect the big banks from a royal commission.

    Scott Morrison only a few days ago was trying to defend the banks' decision.

    Then he was embarrassingly forced into line by Mr Turnbull a day later.

    Now the best the Government can do in some sort of wet lettuce exercise, is to give a reference to a Liberal-run House of Representatives Economics Standing Committee.

    Let’s call this for what it is – it’s what you do when you want to be seen to be doing something but can’t possibly be seen to call a Royal Commission into the financial services sector.

    We all remember the embarrassing saga in April this year of the Treasurer arguing that all you needed was the regulator, ASIC, and that there was no need for a royal commission or another inquiry.

    The Prime Minister and Treasurer acknowledge they checked with the big four banks before making this announcement. That was awful nice of them.

    This idea that a once a year appearance at a House of Representatives Economics Committee hearing run by the Liberal Party will change culture is ridiculous.

    How will annual appearances which may occur months and months after one or two rate changes or other events, help make banks accountable?

    Homeowners lose money every single day between when banks refuse to cut rates and when they appear before the committee – does anyone really think the banks are going to pass on cuts today because in six or twelve months’ time they’ll have to come to Parliament and explain why?

    Bank CEOs have fronted committee hearings before. Does anyone suggest that’s created cultural change?

    And why was the Prime Minister so keen to give a reference to a house committee as opposed to a joint committee?

    The Australian people can have no confidence that a Liberal-dominated committee will be able to or have any interest in holding the big banks to account.

    Following several high profile scandals and rip-off after rip-off, the only way to improve the culture in our banks is a royal commission.

    THURSDAY, 4 AUGUST 2016

    This is a joint media release with Chris Bowen MP, Labor's Shadow Treasurer.

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