Labor has backed the bipartisan recommendation to ensure there is a proper review of the Better Advice Bill in two years’ time as the legislation should not be treated as “set and forget”.
The bill did have bipartisan support, but Stephen Jones, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Financial Services, said the Government’s management of financial standards reform had been “a slow and painful train wreck”.
“This bill has been examined by the Senate Economics Committee and has received bipartisan endorsement, that’s a good sign, that means Labor supports the bill,” Jones said.
“We also support the bipartisan recommendation by Coalition Senator [Slade] Brockman and his committee to ensure there’s a proper review of this legislation in two years’ time – there can be no set and forget.
“No one can see any of these changes and what has emanated over the 12 years since the Ripoll Report as anything more than a public policy failure and an enormous admission of failure by the Coalition Government.”
However, Jones said Labor would call for greater recognition for specialisations in the financial advice industry.
Despite the bipartisan support, Labor MP Dr Andrew Leigh questioned the urgency the Coalition had given the Royal Commission recommendations.
“The Royal Commission was opposed by the Liberals for 18 months and they voted against it 26 times,” Leigh said.
“The Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has apologised, but Prime Minister Scott Morrison never apologised for delaying a Royal Commission into Financial Services.
“When the report was finally handed down, you had that awkward photo op between the Treasurer and Kenneth Hayne.
“The Treasurer looked for all the world like a naughty kid cosying up to Santa, hoping Santa will smile at him when he knows deep-down he spent a year being very, very bad.”