Tuesday, 5 September 2017
Small Amount Credit Contracts
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) payday loans and consumer leases can impose crippling interest rates and fees and trap people in a debt spiral,
(ii) these loans and leases were examined by the Small Amount Credit Contracts (SACC) Independent Review Panel which reported to the Government in March 2016 – the report was released publicly by the Government on 19 April 2016,
(iii) the SACC Independent Review Panel made 24 recommendations to the Government about reforming the SACC sector,
(iv) the Federal Government announced on 28 November 2016 that it will adopt 22 of the 24 recommendations – legislation was expected to be introduced in 2017,
(v) consumer groups such as CHOICE, the Consumer Action Law Centre and community legal centres continue to call on the Government to implement reforms to help prevent the exploitation they continue to see,
(vi) the reforms recommended by the SACC Independent Review Panel have in-principle cross-party support, and
(vii) ongoing harm is being caused, in particular, to financially vulnerable consumers, the longer the Government fails to act to reform the SACC sector; and
(b) calls on the Government to urgently introduce its bill to amend the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009, in accordance with the recommendations the Government has adopted from the SACC review.
The government is committed to implement the vast majority of recommendations from the review of the small amount credit contract laws and introduce legislation before the end of 2017. Reforms are urgent and are being treated so. It is important to follow proper process in the lead-up to the introduction of legislation. It is only appropriate that the government allocate appropriate time to meet with industry stakeholders to consult on the upcoming changes.
Question agreed to.