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Costello must come clean on influencing Reserve Bank credit report.

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Media Release by…

ALAN GRIFFIN MP Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Affairs & Banking Services 12 December 2001


The Treasurer, Peter Costello must come clean on claims he has caved in to pressure from the banking industry and intervened to delay a Reserve Bank consultation report on credit card pricing, Mr Alan Griffin, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Affairs and Banking Services said today.

“Media reports this morning quote banking industry sources as saying that the RBA’s long awaited report into credit card pricing has been delayed by a week as a result of the Treasurer’s intervention.

“It is interesting to note that this intervention has occurred following strong lobbying of the Howard Government by banks and credit providers, who are concerned about some of the RBA’s possible recommendations.

“The public deserves to know whether this is the case, and whether yet again this Government is supporting the interests of the ‘big end of town’ ahead of the interests of average Australians.

“The Reserve Bank of Australia must be allowed to conduct its affairs independently and any indication that the Howard Government has tried to interfere with the findings or recommendations made in the RBA’s report must be condemned.

“It is Labor’s position that recommendations which improve access, equity, transparency and accountability in the credit card pricing system are necessary and very welcome.

“The ‘big end of town’ has already had ample opportunity to put its case to the RBA during a comprehensive consultation process, and will be able to comment on the Bank’s draft recommendations again prior to the release of the final report next year. They certainly don’t need the Howard Government doing more work on their behalf.

“Treasurer Peter Costello must now let ordinary Australians know whether he has caved in to banking industry pressure and tried to influence the outcomes of the RBA report,” Mr Griffin said.

For further information please contact:

Alan Griffin: 0419 353 476 Anita Hirschhorn: 0438 390 119 Office: 03 9547 1444