The Federal Government of Australia will put to a halt the implementation of Hayne Royal Commission reforms for about six months as a result of the disruptions caused by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
“The deferral will enable the financial services industry to focus their efforts on planning for the recovery and supporting their customers and their staff during this unprecedented time,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg noted earlier today.
Some of the measures the Government was expected to bring on the floor of the Parliament by June 30 this year will have to wait till December to be tabled in the House of Representatives, and those expected to be introduced in the House by end of 2020 will now be moved to June, 2021. 0782-396031
Mr Frydenberg said in a statement that commencement dates contained in draft legislations from the royal commission reforms published before the novel coronavirus outbreak will also be delayed by six months.
Delay To Timeframes
Last week, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) revealed it had written to Treasurer Frydenberg “seeking a delay to the timeframes for implementation of the royal commission legislation to July 1 2022.”
Without a doubt, the ICA has welcomed today’s announcement with jubilation, as noted by their spokesman Mr Campbell Fuller.
According to the spokesman, ICA and its members will continue to support the implementation of changes poised to measurably and genuinely enhance consumer outcomes.
The added time takes cognisance that insurance companies, just like the rest of the Australian economy, have been gravely impacted by COVID-19. Instead of preparing for a regulatory change, they have been compelled to direct resources towards helping policyholders to pull through the aftermath of the recent spell of natural disasters and the ongoing impact of COVID-19.
According to Katherine Temple, the Consumer Action Law Centre Director of Policy and Campaigns, the group supports the proposed extension of six months at maximum.
What Needs To Happen?
“We recognise that we are in unprecedented times. “Introducing these reforms sooner rather than later is what we need to see happen, but we understand the Federal Government has had to reprioritise in the short-term and we think six months is a reasonable compromise.”
In a statement the CEO of Choice, Alan Kirkland noted that the group was looking forward to working with the Australian Government to ensure the remaining reforms were finalised as soon as possible.
“The six-month deferral strikes a sensible balance between recognising the reality of these unprecedented circumstances and the need to legislate reforms to protect consumers who will need this even more in the coming months,” he said.
In just a few months, the coronavirus crisis has plunged Australia in an economic insecurity and caused far-reaching impacts. The economy has been hit hard—from job losses, stock crashes to closure of businesses, this global pandemic has shaken the world and Australia is no exception.
As at now, the future remains uncertain but even then your safety should come first as we hope for better days ahead—so keep social distance, wash hands, remain at home and STAY ALIVE.
The information contained in this article is of a general nature only. It does not take your specific needs, objectives or circumstances into consideration, and is not financial advice, legal advice or otherwise a recommendation to purchase any financial product or insurance policy. You should seek your own independent financial advice from a qualified financial and insurance adviser before making any financial decisions, and seek your own independent legal advice from a qualified solicitor before making any decisions of a legal nature.