House debates

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Statements by Members

Banking and Financial Services

1:57 pm

Photo of Chris BowenChris Bowen (McMahon, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

Government incompetence and negligence comes at a cost, and sometimes it comes at a real human cost. This government's complete inaction on payday lending has a human cost. The government commissioned a review in August 2015 of small-amount credit contracts, and in October 2017 we saw draft legislation. Since then we have seen absolutely nothing. We've seen the portfolio handed from minister to minister, and it is now in the hands of the member for Deakin. He has not shown up. He has done nothing about rorts in payday lending.

As the government fails to do its job, the Labor Party has been taking action. The former member for Perth moved a private members' bill which was word for word what was in the government's legislation. Not only did they not vote for it but they didn't turn up. Labor members—the members for Oxley, Solomon, Rankin and Lalor—have all been leading on this debate as the government just lets the payday lending rorts continue.

This comes at a human cost. Sally from Burnie is an example. She's a single parent, with three dependants, earning over $1,700 a fortnight. She has payday loan repayments to three separate providers which take up 45 per cent of her fortnightly income. This government sits on its hands and says that's okay. It's time for this negligence to stop.