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Tuesday, 25 March 1997
Page: 2400

Senator KEMP (Assistant Treasurer)(5.17 p.m.) —Details of fees and charges will be disclosed on opening of accounts, so people know. They will be available annually and they will be available on exit. There are no fees—I stress this because this is important to the debate—on small amounts. This is identical for funds. They are the broad principles which will be encompassed in the regulations.

We do not accept the Democrat amendment and we do not accept the arguments which have been put forward. It is quite contrary to the general principles which I thought all senators had signed on to. We are not saying that they have to charge fees. Credit unions are entirely free. If they can produce a competitive product, that will be a product which will be attractive in the market place. It is up to the institutions themselves. As I said, there will be complete disclosure on the opening of accounts annually and on exit. On small amounts under $1,000 there will be no fees, and this is identical for funds.

I urge the Senate to reject this amendment and ensure that we do not unfairly tilt the playing field in favour of the superannuation funds.