Government demands Labor respond in full to Banking Royal Commission

The Government has accused Labor of putting politics ahead of policy – demanding that Labor respond in full to the recommendations of the Banking Royal Commission, despite its own response lacking detail.

“The Government received Commissioner Hayne’s Final Report on Friday, we responded to it in full on Monday and now we are getting on with the job of restoring trust in Australia’s financial system,” said Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

The Treasurer said the Government was “taking action” on all 76 recommendations in the final report. The Government’s response says it “agrees” to the Commissioner’s recommendations. However the detail of many of these responses are lacking, including around superannuation.

“The Government’s response could not be clearer: we are taking action on every recommendation, while also making clear that we are choosing to proceed cautiously with respect to upfront fees for mortgage brokers,” said Mr Frydenberg.

The Royal Commission recommended the eventual ban of upfront fees from lenders to mortgage brokers. The Government has not fully committed to this recommendation.

The Government argues that in some respects it is going further than the Royal Commission report, pointing to compensation payments and expanding the remit of the AFCA.

“In contrast, all Labor does is treat the Australian people with contempt by offering more political stunts,” said Mr Frydenberg.

Labor has been calling for the upcoming Parliamentary sittings to be extended to allow for the passage of legislation stemming from the Royal Commission.

Labor has said it supports all of the recommendations “in principle”.

Government yet to respond to Productivity Commission report

The Government has yet to properly respond to the recommendations of the Productivity Commission’s report Superannuation: Assessing Efficiency and Competitiveness. The Government has had the report since 21 December. This third Productivity Commission report on super was created by terms of reference from then Treasurer Scott Morrison, and was a result of the Government’s Financial System Inquiry.

In December Treasurer Frydenberg said the Government was waiting on the Banking Royal Commission report before finalising its response to the recommendations of the Productivity Commission.

The Government’s response to the Banking Royal Commission points to the work of the Productivity Commission, but does not respond to the recommendations in the report.

One of the recommendations from the Productivity Commission was a method to set a single default super account. In part this involves a panel deciding on a ‘best in show’ list of super funds to be shown to new entrants to the workforce.

The Royal Commission likewise recommended that “a person should have only one default account”, and that “machinery should be developed for ‘stapling’ a person to a single default account”. The Government “agrees that a person should have only one default account”, but has yet to detail it’s proposed method.

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