Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Labor acts to protect small business & consumers.

Download PDFDownload PDF

ROGER PRICE MP Federal Member for Chifley

Labor Acts to Protect Small Business & Consumers

Labor will introduce a Private Member’s Bill during the next sitting period, which will authorise ACCC surveillance of the implementation of the Reserve Bank’s credit card reforms, Federal Member for Chifley Roger Price MP said today.

“It is necessary to ensure that savings resulting from the reduction in the interchange fee flow through to consumers and small business rather than being swallowed up by increases in other bank fees and charges”, Mr Price said.

This Bill has the in-principle support of the Australian Democrats.

Labor supports the reforms to credit card arrangements announced last week by the Reserve Bank (RBA). However, Labor is concerned that the banks will seek to recoup the revenue loss resulting from the reduction in the interchange fee by increasing other fees and charges levied on consumers and small business.

“The Treasurer claims that the RBA itself will undertake such surveillance. However, the RBA has no power to do so. The Treasurer would know this if he had read as far as page 2 of the RBA’s report.

One major bank has already admitted that it only plans to pass on one-third of the savings resulting from the reduction in the interchange fee and that it will recoup lost revenue by increasing other fees and charges.

“If the Government will not act to protect small business and consumers, Labor will”, Mr Price concluded.

Ends 4 September 2002

Contact: Paul Sekhon on 9625 4344 or 0417 416 144.