Australian Politics – Prime Minister Turnbull Kind Of Admits He Was Wrong On Banks

Posted on Mon 04/23/2018 by


By Andrew Bolt ~

Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer embarrassed herself yesterday in trying to avoid admitting the Government was wrong to block a royal commission into the banks for so long.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

In fairness, that admission was for someone senior to make, and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull now has a go:

“You are all right when you say when you say politically it would have been better for us if we had done it years ago.

“But the reason I didn’t proceed with a Royal Commission was this, I wanted to make sure we took the steps to reform immediately and got on with the job. My concern was that the Royal Commission would go on for several years and people would then say ‘you can’t reform, you can’t legislate, you have to wait for the report,’ and that’s what would have been said,” Mr Turnbull said.

Mr Turnbull said that despite “hindsight and not being able to live our lives backwards” it was better that the government “got on” with its reforms, massively strengthened ASIC and created a one-stop shop for consumers; and now had a Royal Commission to consider the reforms the Government has put in place.

“Politically all of the political commentators are right when they say politically we would have been better off setting one up earlier but as it’s turned out I think we put customers first, put substantial reform first and had legislation passed,” he said.

Dennis Shanahan:

Turnbull’s concession that it would have given the government less “grief” and been less “politically” damaging was not a full admission of a mistake or the mea culpa of someone who really thought he had got it wrong.

Turnbull’s concession of a “clear political error” with “hindsight” was proffered with a claim that he had identified the problem himself two years ago but had resisted the calls for a Royal Commission because it would have delayed reform and legislation and the banks would have used it as an excuse to defer reforms…

But there is a big risk here for him because it highlights, as he admits, that the Government “knew what the problem was with the banks” and didn’t follow up on his own strong rhetorical attack with a Royal Commission.

Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.

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