Friday 20 April 2018
1 Although the Coalition fought a right royal battle to avoid a Royal Commission into the financial sector, in the end they had to give way to the Opposition – some of their own backbenchers, and public opinion.
During evidence in which the banks have admitted all manner of illegalities it has become obvious that the Government has been stridently trying to protect them from a number of accusations.
For many years now all sections of the community have been hankering for some form of inquiry into the banking sector.
Anyone from farmers – small business – households, all of them fed up with the industry’s blatant disregard for the law – their fee-gouging and widespread profiteering.
So eager has the Government been to protect them that they have said in the past that a Royal Commission would serve no purpose because it would only dredge up things that have already happened, which rather misses the point of an inquiry altogether.
Yesterday the former Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, came out saying that he was naive in his support for the banks but it would be fair to say that the Government was privy to their immoral behaviour for years and was just trying to protect them. After all, they donate around $3 million to the Liberals every year. Even when the Prime Minister announced the Royal Commission he did so reluctantly, saying he didn’t agree with it and was just giving into his backbench.
That major financial institutions would treat their clients in such a manner is atrocious to say the least, and that Government would seek to try to protect them is even more so.
The only question we are left with then is the rhetorical one. What is there to hide? Well, the evidence thus far would suggest plenty. To the point where the Treasurer has had to mention words like jail, criminal proceedings etc.
Labor did take, after spirited internal debate, a Royal Commission to the last election. However, at the time, the Coalition wouldn’t have a bar of it. Instead they opted for cosy one on one meetings with the four main banking CEOs.
Then public opinion got the better of them and a Royal Commission was announced of which two things are certain.
A The terms of reference will be inadequate (already talk about extending) and B the completion time will have to be extended.
I have to conclude that the Government was aware that all this was known by the Government and that it would come out at the Royal Commission. Sure, heads should roll, but it’s the Government that needs to go.
Surely, at the end of the day, in light of what is likely to be a very damming report the Government cannot then reward them with massive tax cuts. However, given this Government’s record they will probably be full of praise for themselves for implementing the RC and then do it.
2 Remember when Hockey and Abbott used to send its debt bus around with Labor’s debt written all over it? Alan Jones would shout and scream blue murder at the mismanagement of the economy and Murdoch’s tabloids would fill their front pages with outrageous lies.
Today gross debt is $523.4 billion (source aofm.gov.au).
Up $250.4 billion since the 2013 election, although the LNP promised to “reduce” it.
My thought for the day
“There are those who say he should just be ignored. I am not one of them. He is the proverbial gift that keeps on giving. The former Prime Minister Tony Abbott is so full of egotistical compost that he can continuously replenish his own effluence.”