News National ‘Day of shame’: Shorten blasts PM over banks

‘Day of shame’: Shorten blasts PM over banks

Bill Shorten is wrong to say big bank tax cuts will cost $17 billion
Labor Leader Bill Shorten has taken his party's policy on asylum seekers in a new direction. Photo: AAP Photo: AAP
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Labor leader Bill Shorten has urged voters to cast their ballot on banks’ “day of shame” at the next election predicting it will be a referendum on the Morrison Government’s refusal to call a royal commission.

As the Prime Minister accused Labor of politicising the final report of the banking inquiry, Mr Shorten said voters should ask which party can be trusted to reform the banking sector.

“This royal commission shows the failure of trust between the banking sector and Australians,” Mr Shorten said.

The banks themselves should be ashamed of themselves for their behaviour and the government should be almost as ashamed by its behaviour trying to cover up the scandalous behaviour of the banks.

“I ask the Australian people at the election: Who do you trust to keep the banks honest: the Liberals who wanted to cover it up or Labor who wanted to see the truth?”

Mr Morrison said he had already expressed his regret for voting 26 times against a royal commission parliament. He did not support Bill Shorten’s push to hold extra parliamentary sitting days to push through the planned reforms faster.

“We are taking action on all 76, and the Labor Party might want to engage in all sort of politics on this,” he said.

Asked again if he regretted not taking action sooner Mr Morrison said he had already apologised. However, Mr Morrison said it was now clear that the royal commission had contributed to a credit squeeze.

“Well, as Treasurer you are always going to be focused and you are going to be careful about what the potential impacts are on a financial system on which everybody’s livelihoods depend.

“Your mortgage, your loan, everything goes through the financial system. And I was being very careful. You could accuse me of being overly cautious, and I was concerned in particular about what it would mean for credit restrictions in the economy and how that could slow the economy down.

The Prime Minister said it was Bill Shorten who had failed to act when Labor was in government after the Storm Financial crisis.

“Bill Shorten was the Financial Services Minister for goodness sake. Did he call a royal commission then? No. Did he take action then? No.” he said.