FoFA changes to hurt investors

Abbott Government reforms emasculate investors’ protection.

FoFA changes to hurt investors

The Abbott Government is proposing sweeping changes to the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) reforms. These reforms have already cost industry $1 billion to implement and followed a long list of company collapses including Trio Capital and Storm Financial. Wealth managers and major banks are moving quickly to take full advantage of the new Government’s softer rules.

As the result of industry pressure, Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos is consulting with the industry on draft rules, which will make it easier for advisers to receive commissions and other so-called ‘conflicted payments’ provided they have not tailored their advice to the client’s personal circumstances. Financial planners will once again be able to earn commissions for selling a wide range of investment products after a Federal Government decision to water down investor protection laws.

A spokesman for Mr Sinodinos confirmed that under the Abbott Government’s changes, products sold as the result of ‘general advice’, that is advice given without a review of the individual client’s financial affairs, will not be subject to the ban on conflicted remuneration. He went on to say,“The current ban on conflicted remuneration captures a far wider range of circumstances than was originally intended and has resulted in significant compliance costs for industry”.

The return to the widespread payment of commissions to financial planners is partly due to loose drafting of the laws by the previous Labor Government. This has enabled banks and wealth managers to reintroduce soft-dollar incentives and new fees in an apparent effort to encourage advisers to sell their products.

Critics of the Abbott Government’s changes to the former government’s reform package claim it has “gutted” the laws which were intended to boost transparency, protect investors and improve access to advice.

Opposition spokesman for financial services Bernie Ripoll observes that,“What the government is doing right now is slowing down the process of building a professional financial services sector and going down the cheap popular path of least resistance rather than doing the hard yards and lifting standards,”

According to David Whiteley, chief executive of Industry Super Australia, which represents six million industry fund members,“This goes way beyond tidying up, or tweaking some regulations. This is about wide-ranging changes that go to the very heart of the proposed reforms.”

And a partner at legal firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Michael Chaaya, said the changes to allow commission relating to general advice were a “significant watering down of the FoFA regime”.

Read more in the Weekend Financial Review.


Opinion: Turning back the clock

Sadly, Australia, which once led the ‘developed’ world in legislation to enfranchise and protect all its citizens, now seems to consistently ‘miss the boat’.

A current and spectacular example of this malaise has been the regulation of financial planners. Despite waves of high-profile company collapses and the resulting serious financial losses for thousands of trusting investors, little had been done to redress the situation until the former Labor Government finally bit the bullet, introducing Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) reforms, after four years of preparation. Now, the new Coalition Government is hell-bent on turning back the clock under the pretext of reducing red tape, but in reality, gutting the legislation designed to protect the interests of investors.

As with so many ‘initiatives’ of the Abbott Government in the five short months since it won office, these changes to FoFA, announced by Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos, are in reality intended to restore the unfettered operations of the Big End of town. The immediate practical consequence of the proposed changes, if implemented, will be the restoration of commissions paid to financial planners in return for signing investors up to certain products.

Many other sensible checks and balances intended to protect those attempting to provide financial security for their retirement, will also be abolished or emasculated. Ironically, whilst the banks and life insurance companies will be the beneficiaries, Sinodinos’ proposed changes to FoFA will ensure that financial planners will fail to achieve the long-sought professionalism and trust amongst the community in general and small investors in particular.

What do you think? Should the protection offered to investors under the existing FoFA be watered down? Do you trust financial planners and, if not, where would you seek advice for your retirement savings?





    COMMENTS

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    moorlands
    12th Feb 2014
    11:27am
    Dishonest people will always find loopholes, just as they do in the tax system, but when governments go out of the way to assist them then that is criminal.
    biddi
    12th Feb 2014
    11:54am
    Yet, another worry .....
    fearlessfly
    12th Feb 2014
    12:03pm
    Well, what can I say, to all those idiots who voted the "Abbatoir" in to power, you gets what you asked for ! Personally, I steer clear of any contact with the corrupt Financial Industry in this country, I'm happy with what I've got and will never go near any so-called Financial Advisor, who would steer me into yet another corrupt collapsing fund.
    Tassie Devil
    13th Feb 2014
    9:10am
    Clap Clap Clap , like you I am happy with what I got and stay clear of any Financial Advisor
    MITZY
    12th Feb 2014
    12:05pm
    The Abbott government is hell bent on dismantling anything Labor has installed. There are so many people ripped off in various financial schemes. You see it weekly on current affairs programmes. Any safeguards such as FoFA should be left in place. The big end of town gets enough favours their way from a Coalition government, the taxpayers are entitled to some favours too.
    It's pretty obvious the Coalition has no concrete programmes taking us forward if all they can do is "cut red tape" according to them.
    MITZY
    12th Feb 2014
    12:19pm
    They wouldn't be slashing the FoFA if there was any benefit for them in keeping it. However their retirement next eggs will always be safe.
    Isn't a government of either persuasion supposed to do all it can to safeguard its voters and taxpayers? What happens when the gullible get their nest eggs ripped off them by unscrupulous financial planners? I guess they try to exist on the age pension! Three car industries down the drain I bet those financial planners with the scrapping of the FoFA are licking their lips and rubbing their hands together at the prospect.
    Dobbie
    12th Feb 2014
    12:18pm
    I thought this was a forum for "health, wealth, travel and work for fun in your 50's, 60's and beyond". But once again ... here is just another consistently biased political spiel dressed up as an 'article'; one of so very many on this site. Information is welcome but your politically biased opinion is not.
    MITZY
    12th Feb 2014
    12:26pm
    You forgot to read the line underneath Dobbie which reads:
    Health, Travel, Finance, Work, Retirement, Aged Care, Government, Technical, Food, Community.
    We all have an opinion but I don't think when we cast our votes less than six months ago, we voted for a government that feeds the big end of town 9/10ths of the time.
    Gra
    12th Feb 2014
    1:04pm
    So you're quite happy for this government to dismantle the legislation that was put in place to protect people like you and me? You know Dobbie, you can always unsubscribe from this website if you don't agree with articles that are presented.
    Otherwise, be thankful that these changes are being brought to our attention, you can bet your bottom dollar Abbott's cronies in the big end of town won't be rushing out to tell us.
    Marc
    12th Feb 2014
    2:09pm
    @Dobbie: I'd have thought this one fits pretty clearly under the heading of "Wealth" and given that the changes have potential to negatively impact the wealth of small investors (like ourselves), in their 50's, 60's and beyond, the cautionary "Opinion" piece seems very well warranted (IMHO).
    ghoti
    12th Feb 2014
    3:21pm
    The article presents a point of view (under "Wealth", as Marc points out) then invites comment. If you disagree then you are welcome to present your case. I'm looking forward to reading it!
    moorlands
    12th Feb 2014
    5:27pm
    Could I suggest that anyone in Australia who has worked for the same employer for three terms ( term to be negotiated) shall then be entitled to a lifetime pension based on their termination salary ( index linked) and free travel entitlements.
    moorlands
    13th Feb 2014
    9:30pm
    Did no one pick up on that that my comments were aimed at the entitlements that politicians enjoy? ( I feel neglected and unlistened to ) where's my corkscrew?
    PlanB
    12th Feb 2014
    12:19pm
    You ain't seen nothing yet --Abbott is brown nosing the big end of town and all the ordinary people can go to hell in his opinion--he is a liar and promised all good b4 he got the top job--however I didn't vote for the mongrel
    Nightshade
    12th Feb 2014
    12:29pm
    Trio Capital
    Storm
    The ABC Learning Centers
    Is this advice - a financial adviser of a BANK
    Targeting a corporation
    Deliberately sets out in encouraging that corporation to
    EXTEND ITS MARGINS to unrealistic capacities
    Knowing that the corporation will go under
    Therefore when - "the shit hits the fan" - so to speak, the company GOES UNDER.
    CORPORATE RAIDING - ISN'T IT
    BY EXPERIENCED HATCHET MEN
    BROUGHT IN BY BANKS
    SPECIFICALLY FOR THE TASK ?
    ( then they shown the door - disgraced - with a massive payout )
    ( like this the REGULAR CEO's & CFO's do not sustain DIRTY HANDS )
    That is all well & good
    AND
    Goodo Tony Abbott
    BUT :-
    What about the laws of breach of contract that apply to all business & other dealings
    THEREFORE ABBOTT & HIS FACILITATORS HAVE ALSO ABOLISHED THE LAWS PERTAINING TO BREACH OF CONTRACT
    yes --- ?
    no --- ?

    [ I have to go for a little while but I will be back to explain - BREACH OF CONTRACT - ]
    Nightshade
    12th Feb 2014
    12:35pm
    WHY NO ONE SUED THE CBA & OTHER SUCH CHARLATANS FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT
    I DO NOT UNDERSTAND ?
    UNLESS THE TOP BOYS & GIRLS OF THE CORPORATIONS TARGETED
    GOT A BIG PAYOUT TO CO-OPERATE IN THE WILLFUL DESTRUCTION OF THE SAID CORPORATION !
    Nightshade
    12th Feb 2014
    12:52pm
    Interesting Article :-

    www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/looting-the-pension-funds-20130926

    THE PROMISE OF THINGS TO COME
    WATCH OUT COMPULSORY SUPERANNUATION FIND CONTRIBUTORS
    THE PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA WHO USHERED IN COMPULSORY SUPERANNUATION MUST HAVE BEEN HAILED AS A HERO OF THE FINANCIAL WORLD - GLOBALLY
    The fatted calf
    KSS
    12th Feb 2014
    1:41pm
    I always try to follow your arguments Nightshade, I really do. But it is so difficult with all the SHOUTING!
    Nightshade
    12th Feb 2014
    9:56pm
    KSS - Sorry love, what can I tell you, old habits die hard.
    I had 5 kids & it was so much easier to call out aloud to get their attention, than to run around the house finding them for a quiet face to face. If I'd married a fisherman he would have been so proud of my loudness, even seen it as a gift.
    moorlands
    12th Feb 2014
    10:03pm
    Hi nightshade, you obviously have not had enough "little while '? "
    Dobbie
    12th Feb 2014
    1:19pm
    Thank you comrades, for all your comments. I am always interested in learning the truth. It's the bias of the comments that disappoints here. So much for an interesting place to learn topics of interest to the said 50's and 60's.
    Marc
    12th Feb 2014
    2:24pm
    So you'd prefer a different bias?

    How is it not of interest to retirees and those approaching retirement that the Government is proposing changes which could reduce protection over their hard-earned nest-eggs?
    Anonymous
    12th Feb 2014
    3:13pm
    Dobbie

    Offer something up, that allows us to see WHY this backward step of allowing Financial Advisors to put their own interests (higher commissions) above the interests of their clients and thereby putting their clients money at risk, is valid!

    This TOPIC is totally in line with what this site is all about. The aged have to consider the value of their super and their assets, etc in order to finance their retirement.

    In FACT, it is even MORE INSIPID to allow NO legal recall against Financial Advisors, other than the long and difficult path with common law, BECAUSE, these Financial Advisors are the ones that obtain oodles of money to advise OUR HUGE superannuation funds. If they advise that a particular investment is safe, after taking huge commissions, of course, the super fund invests a large proportion of its fund in that investment and that investment goes belly up, it will take up to ten years through the courts to even get a glimpse of a small proportion of your money. The financial advisor has Personal Indemnity (PI) insurance for a certain amount only, the rest of their wealth is nicely tucked away beyond any form of litigation.

    The legal costs and length of time to claw back a pittance of the Large Super Fund's money is formidable. This would mean that not just one person suffers BUT could possible affect hundreds of thousands of people wanting to retire!

    Despicable, to remove specific laws to protect those that NEED their super (most ordinary Australians) in order to live in some form of dignity when they retire.
    Sunny
    12th Feb 2014
    1:19pm
    In answer to one of your questions - rather than rubbishing our elected government - No I don't trust financial planners. I went to a number of them, prior to selecting one to advise on investing a quite large sum of money. Thankfully most of the money is still there, but in addition to other things that I was not satisfied with, there is a small sum that is frozen, and slowly being eaten away by fees. No, I am more satisfied with my own financial decisions.
    KSS
    12th Feb 2014
    1:33pm
    Another post written to guarantee getting many knickers in knots! These are not new announcements. They were made on 20 December and are an attempt to implement commitments made during the run up to the election. Where have you been? Or is now just the scary headlines you are reacting to?

    The main issue people here seem to be shouting about is the fees payable for investment products sold under general advice. General advice seems to be defined as financial advice given that has not considered the full financial situation of the client. To my mind, anyone buying into an investment product without a full and detailed review of their financial position and future needs has more money than sense. Like taking advice from a 'mate' who says this deal is great, and the 'mate' getting a commission when you sign up because they told you about it. Who does that?

    If you have a genuine interest in what the Government is doing about all this and are not just bashing Mr Abbott for sport, go here:
    http://futureofadvice.treasury.gov.au/Content/Content.aspx?doc=home.htm . You will find the proposals, the consultation papers and the draft changes.
    KSS
    12th Feb 2014
    1:54pm
    PS. There is still time for you make your own submission to the debate. Consultation closes on 19 Feb 2014.
    Anonymous
    12th Feb 2014
    2:57pm
    KSS
    Nice try but that is why you go to a PROFESSIONAL person, to get SOUND investment advice that is in YOUR interests and NOT the interests of that professional advisor to acquire higher commissions and jeopardising YOUR money.

    Your analogy of "Like taking advice from a 'mate' who says this deal is great, and the 'mate' getting a commission when you sign up because they told you about it" is exactly how it will NOW be, when you seek Financial Advice…… EXCEPT, they are NOT your mate, are they!

    If there is NO legal requirement that the Financial Advisor puts the clients interests above their own….. why would they??? Plus, if there were some prudent and honest Financial Advisor (LOL), how would you know which was which??!!
    KSS
    12th Feb 2014
    3:08pm
    Agreed Mussitate people should go to a professional advisor. But IF you are prepared to make investments without a full detailed review of your personal circumstances to see if the product(s) being offered suits you, then, as I said, it is no better than asking a mate.

    An advisor is just that, an advisor - financial or otherwise. It is the individual that makes the decision to invest or not and that requires more than a brief outline of what may be on offer.
    KSS
    12th Feb 2014
    3:12pm
    Where " you go to a PROFESSIONAL person, to get SOUND investment advice that is in YOUR interests and NOT the interests of that professional advisor" (and this would involve a thorough examination of your financial situation) then that would come under the conflicted payments rule and no commission would be payable.
    Anonymous
    12th Feb 2014
    5:19pm
    NO, sorry KSS. Do you go to an Accountant to get them to do your accounts and income tax returns BUT before you go, YOU prepare all the accounts and income tax returns for them to inspect and advise. No, you hand them your documents and then they undertake the work for you. YOU are not the professional, they are.

    EXAMPLE…..huge public Superannuation fund with hundreds of thousands of ordinary Australians who are required by law to put part of their wage increases into a super fund to provide for their future retirement. Financial Advisors give advice to this Super Fund to invest in SUPPOSEDLY 'safe' investments and which nets the Financial Advisors mega huge commissions. The Financial Advisors have not done any in-depth examination of the so called 'safe' investment, just a cursory perusal and pocketed the wealth. End of story is that the supposedly 'safe' investment is toxic and falls over and just about EVERY person with money in that super fund LOSE EXTENSIVELY…. all their hard earned money gone - pauperised in retirement.

    NOW, tell me about HOW these average hard working Australians are at fault here!

    ALSO, do not tell me this will not happen because it already has, with the USA packaging up and distributing TOXIC investments under the FALSE guise of AAA ratings. Many local government Councils also lost all their money!

    The Financial Advisors took mega commissions and have still NOT faced the courts and not repaid a cent. This why the previous government fought so hard to introduce these laws in the first place.
    KSS
    12th Feb 2014
    5:48pm
    Actually that is exactly what I do do with my accountant. I prepare the financial records, take it to my accountant. He fills in the tax forms and sends it back to me to sign. When you sign those forms (which you must do) you assume all responsibility for their accuracy and voracity. Try arguing 'my accountant did it' if there is a mistake. You the tax payer are responsible for the tax return and will be the one punished if you get it wrong.

    Your second point misses the whole issue here. The changes to the FoFA are about the ordinary person accessing financial advice, NOT the superannuation funds on behalf of the customer.
    Anonymous
    12th Feb 2014
    6:58pm
    KSS

    Thank you for your further information KSS, I can see what you have referred to and your comments are valid.

    Also, your financial skills are a compliment to you, however, I have contact with people that are high level specialists in their own fields of expertise that would never contemplate financial administration of any sort.

    So why would ordinary Australians be able to do better. They sit themselves down in front of a Financial Advisor (FA), thinking they are professionals, instead of the equivalent of real estate and used car representatives (before FAs can operate they need to be aligned to the real licence holders which are (e.g.) banks and insurance corporations). They tell the FA what they have and want and the FA gives them info and they invest accordingly.

    Is this specific advice or general advice KSS, has sufficient information obtained to sway the verdict one way or the other???? The client wouldn't know and the courts would even have difficulty establishing a clear line.

    In relation to big super funds…… ditto!!

    The end result is that people will now be forced to rely on Common Law remedies which are a lot more difficult with many pot holes to fall into on the way, with very little return.

    I am simply broadening the spectrum, KSS, to the REAL dangers of gutting any form of controls on FA representatives of (e.g.) banks, financial powerhouses and insurance corporations.

    Just examine this statement made……." will make it easier for advisers to receive commissions and other so-called ‘conflicted payments’ provided they have not tailored their advice to the client’s personal circumstances"…… flim flam at best, digressing abdication of accountability at worst.

    All designed to appease the incredibly tremendous appetite of the financial and insurance mega corporations and powerhouse's, for more and more profits…… at ANY cost.
    PlanB
    12th Feb 2014
    1:40pm
    I would not trust a financial planner either no way !
    Paddles
    12th Feb 2014
    4:17pm
    What a sad pass we have come to when people like PlanB makes a statement such as he/she has.
    Right throughout our lives we have to place trust in various people whilst also being aware that a view expressed by the "expert" may be wrong. How many of you argue with a Doctor's diagnosis on the basis that you don't trust them to get it right. If such is the case then there is no point in consulting one in the first place.
    Accredited financial advisers are well trained and subject to stringent controls apart from their presumed fiduciary duty.
    The most sensible comment so far is from KSS who makes the valid point that, advice notwithstanding, decision making is a matter for the individual and if you slavishly follow the dictates of anyone, then you are not very bright.
    Anonymous
    12th Feb 2014
    5:38pm
    Rubbish PADDLES, they are merely Used Car or Real Estate Sales People, peddling investment packages for and on behalf of their licence holders (i.e. Banks and insurance companies) or for and on behalf of anyone that is willing to pay big commissions.

    They hold rep. licences only and do some courses which I now believe have been extended. However, until they are held accountable for their investment advice, they are NOT professional. The amount of money and lives that they affect are incredible and therefore it is an industry that needs VERY strict controls maintained on it.

    READ my examples above, re large public Super Funds (holding ORDINARY hard working Australian's super) and Financial Advisors.

    This relatively NEW system of Financial Advisors has been based upon the AMERICAN SYSTEM and is highly conducive to BANKS and INSURANCE corporations and renders embarrassingly MEGA amounts of money to Financial Advisors and to their licence holders - the banks and insurances corporations. The wealth that was swilling about the feeding trough was astronomical but it was 'OTHER' peoples money PADDLES. They were simply "leaching" off ordinary super funds and small to giant investors.

    As it is 'OTHER' Peoples money VERY, VERY TIGHT CONTROLS are NOT ONLY ESSENTIAL BUT a BASIC REQUIREMENT!!!!

    Banks already screw people out of BILLIONS but this new systems of financial advisors (with little or no controls) simply pours more money into their trough.
    bartpcb
    12th Feb 2014
    2:26pm
    Why would anyone be surprised that a liberal governance looks after the 'big end of town'. But Australia does have a second chance, get rid of them at the next election. They are only useful for keeping a socially responsible socialist government honest.
    moorlands
    12th Feb 2014
    4:59pm
    As " right on" is not acceptable I will replace it with you are 100% correct, bartccp.
    Anonymous
    12th Feb 2014
    5:21pm
    bartpcb

    G'day, I've not met you before but I must say, I enjoyed your comment….. succinct and spot on. Not to mention refreshing!
    Ahjay
    12th Feb 2014
    2:46pm
    It is all part of the return to "Serfdom". H.R.Nicholls Rules.
    Tom Tank
    12th Feb 2014
    3:44pm
    Ah the benefits of unrestrained Capitalism. Honestly Bob Menzies must be turning in his grave. All the evidence points to the stronger getting stronger quicker and the weak getting kicked in the guts.
    Grateful
    12th Feb 2014
    6:50pm
    Royal Commissions for Unions and easing regulations for "Financial Planners', says it all!!!
    Millions are still trying to recover from the fraud and excesses of the "Financial Planners," Hedge Funds, Mortgage Brokers pre 2007, yet, here we are, we have learned absolutely nothing from the GFC.

    Let's threw away the regulations and protections for the ordinary people and give government support to the largess and greed that caused the GFC!! Tony Abbott won't read any serious reporting of the GFC because he can't understand economics, so, just go and watch The Wolf of Wall Street and the Great Gatsby and that might resonate with his economic mental capacity.
    And how about our illustrious Number One bank today, another $4 billion plus half year profit with the bank's "result" being based upon "reduced costs" and lower "impairments" .i.e. less bad debts because ordinary workers can't even afford to borrow anyway and those reduced costs, yes, obvious, sophisticated words for staff cuts.
    No Royal Commission into the obscene profits of banks in Australia???!!
    No corruption in banking and financial planning where the more "advice" they give the more money they make. Sound familiar!!! History repeating itself!!!
    Anonymous
    12th Feb 2014
    7:15pm
    Ahjay - Tom Tank - Grateful

    ALL excellent comments.



    Just a word of advice Grateful…… the GFC is just taking a breather…… there is a lot more to come…… bigger and better(?) than the first TWO waves.

    In Australia we soared threw the first two waves of destruction but the expertise that put us at the very top of the world economically, is no longer there. Not to mention that growth also established by the mining industry (labour and services are now being acquired from overseas; the construction stage completed; and mining profits are flowing out of Australia - foreign owned), is stabilising. Plus, the egalitarian nature of Australia's wealth is beginning to shift and polarise more towards the wealthy.

    So be wary all and sundry…. stay financially safe. DON'T go to a FA, maybe!?
    Nightshade
    12th Feb 2014
    9:50pm
    When plunder becomes away of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.
    Claude Frederic Bastiat -

    Man can adjust to living under any conditions, the trait that has enabled us to survive is the very trait that has suppressed us. To the few who would have it all for themselves, what matters is not what is debated, but what is left unsaid, hence they utilize the media & the media is only to happy to be - of the few.
    Speak the truth in the face of delusion, because to understand something is to be liberated from it.
    We are on the cusp of change, mainstream has stalled, the few who snatched it all for themselves - a ticket to ride - by their very motives of self, were cursed with the inability to grasp the new world and the opportunity for greatness amongst men was lost.
    Today is the age of consequence for all concerned -
    Empires last 10 generations and then they die.
    moorlands
    12th Feb 2014
    11:43pm
    You whaa?
    Anonymous
    13th Feb 2014
    12:50am
    Nightshade

    That, my friend, was superlative. Very, very enjoyable.

    Cheers
    Tom Tank
    13th Feb 2014
    9:41am
    Very well put but it is a pity so many of the usual contributors won't, or won't want to, understand it and the implications flowing from it.
    Polly Esther
    13th Feb 2014
    3:33pm
    Well gee whiz people, money! the love of, or the fear of losing, or spending a bit, sure does bring things bubbling to the surface. Like an angry volcano about to blow its top. Folks there seems to be a lot of angry pills being swallowed here. Loosen up a little and live a lot.
    SMMM
    13th Feb 2014
    4:25pm
    It is amazing how, Abbott's henchman, or any Liberal/National Government, when they gain power, sweep through, and discard, all that the Labor Government, Fed and State, put back in place, after the Liberal's have slashed, anything descent, to help the ordinary person, get a " fair go ", from their Retirement Plans, to Trains stopped on country lines, Health Care reforms. It costs the Tax Payer billions of dollars, as it is the Tax Payers who foot the bill. The only thing that they don't disagree with, is a Pay Rise for themselves. Funny that. NOT. With the divide between Workers paying Taxes and people getting Centerlink Payments, tipping downwards, who is going to take up the short fall. Will the Pollies take a cut on their wages, Retirement payouts and Gold travel.! Computor says NO
    moorlands
    13th Feb 2014
    9:17pm
    Conservative means exactly what it says, they will conserve what they the ruling classes have, when in power they will take two steps backward for every three steps forward that progressive Labour has achieved resulting in one step at a time for progression. Abbotts agenda is to reverse that, for every three steps forward for a progressive Australia he intends to take four steps back.
    SMMM
    14th Feb 2014
    11:00am
    To moorlands, I wish Abbott would take your 2-3-4 steps dance and just "Fox trot" out of here, but we have to wait for the next Elections for that to happen. What will be left for the Battler by then, doesn't bear thinking about.
    man saw
    14th Feb 2014
    10:00pm
    as the con go's we open the box the how government go out of the way to assist the con
    y yyyyy
    wally
    15th Feb 2014
    11:37am
    All of this sounds like "Let the buyer beware" revisited. I think that intending investors should do their own due diligence and deal only with reputable professionals. Those that get caught out remind me of people that heed tips from persons of dubious repute in placing bets on the horses.
    I am also grimly amused by the doomsters that warn us of Gunner Abbott when they tell us that "Abbott's gunner do this and Abbott's gunner do that" and take every thought bubble that comes out of the Liberal Party as gospel truth and set in concrete . Paranoia is still with us and it looks like it will remain until the next election.
    It is unfortunate that they were not warning us of what Kevin Rudd had in store for us in 2007.
    moorlands
    16th Feb 2014
    11:51am
    Enlighten us wally, what did Kevin Rudd have in store for us in 2007? please don't trot out the pink batt fiasco which was corrupted by crooked contractors, or the school hall scheme which had private schools rubbing their hands with glee, the two in this area virtually doubled in size as a result. Although you can mention the GFC which we sailed through unscathed whilst the rest of the world capsized.
    wally
    16th Feb 2014
    12:35pm
    Hi Moorlands. For your enlightenment about the legacy of the departed Mr Rudd You forgot to mention the debt Australia owes Mr Rudd for scrapping the Howard government's Pacific Solution and the resulting flood of gate crashing self proclaimed asylum seekers. The waste of taxpayers money on these parasites remains an ongoing and unnecessary impost on Australia. As far as the pink batts fiasco, why did Mr Rudd not incorporate safeguards and probity checks on the horde of pink batts installers to weed out the crooks? Regarding the schools building programme, yes it was a windfall for private schools that used their entitlement intelligently. You cannot say that the state education departments did the same, causing the inappropriate construction of giant carports and other inadequate structures too small to be useful or duplicating existing facilities. It is also to be noted that construction companies in certain Labor states were granted the contracts, especially favouring "Labor mates" who prominently made political donations to the Labor Party. Then we have Mr Rudd's "Lap top in every school bag" policy. My Grandchildren are still waiting on that one to happen. I am still waiting for the NBN to come to my place, as well.
    It is all well and good to create solutions for the avoidance of national disasters, but rushing into something without adequate planning invites disaster when unanticipated problems arise.
    As for rescuing Australia from the worst effects of the GFC, if Mr Rudd did such a brilliant job in doing this, why was it necessary to go cap in hand to the Chinese to borrow hundreds of billions of dollars of indebtedness which Labor has left for Tony Abbott to sort out. Good on ya Kevin.
    Lastly, let me direct your attention to your 11:27 am posting of 12 Feb. When you apply your comment to Kevin Rudd and the shonky pink batts installers, I can only wholeheartedly agree.
    moorlands
    16th Feb 2014
    1:25pm
    Phew! thanks wally, some of what you say I agree with, but the rest is what I hear from Liberal die hards such as Andrew Bolt. My view still remains that Abbot knows he will only get this one chance to undo all the progression that Australia has achieved under Labour Governments, not just the Rudd, Gillard, Rudd, Government ( which was destroyed by the infighting) but as far back as Hawke, Keating, and even Whitlam. He has no policies, he is just a wrecking ball on behalf of the Australian Tea Party.
    wally
    16th Feb 2014
    10:14pm
    Hi again, moorlands. Disagreement is why we have horse races. At least that is to be preferred to clubbing or shooting at each other. I would point out that we should consider the merits of the ideas behind an argument, rather than making up our minds on the basis of whether we like the messenger or not.
    For example, I am not a personal fan of Paul Keating as Prime minister, but I believe his superannuation reforms are of great benefit to Australia's workers. Howard's record is still too recent to be fully worked through, and I think his gun buy back scheme targeted the wrong people and was half baked anyway. Likewise his decision to fiddle with the industrial relations situation was a mistake that would blow up in his face in 2007. Abbott too has been a naughty boy in his treatment of Pauline Hansen, but these are all past history now.
    We should judge what we are told for its merit (or lack of merit) rather than our opinion of whoever it is that is promoting the opinion in question. Public responses to the global warming/climate change debate likewise degenerate into a popularity contest and whether or not we vilify or worship Al Gore and Tim Flannery instead of trying to understand and assess the issues they raise.