Monday, November 1, 2010

More Backward Steps From Joe Hockey

Hockey's plan is 'anti-reform':Mike Smith
ANZ Banking Group Ltd chief Mike Smith says shadow treasurer Joe Hockey is "anti-reform", labelling his effort to impose restrictions on banks' mortgage interest rates as a return to pre-1980s regulation of the sector.
Speaking on the ABC's Inside Business program, Mr Smith said Australia's economic growth was at stake in Mr Hockey's nine-point plan to increase banking competition and restrict home loan interest rate rises.
"The success of the Australian economy over the last 20 years really is a credit to the reform agenda that has been driven by successive governments, both Labor and Liberal, and we must keep that going because that is critical for the future growth of Australia," he said.
Mr Smith said the broader economy needed continuous reforms to make it more open and market-based.
Mr Hockey last week called for a "full-scale review" of Australia's banking sector, saying the big four lenders were increasingly moving to lift their interest rates far above the Reserve Bank of Australia's official cash rate.
His call was supported by the Greens and is set to be the subject of a Senate inquiry.
Mr Smith said on Thursday - when unveiling a $5.1 billion cash profit - that Mr Hockey's proposals would have a "massive economic impact in the country, and to the average Australian."

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