Loan sharks free to take pounds of flesh

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS -

LOAN sharks that of­fer short­term loans at ex­or­bi­tant in­ter­est rates will con­tinue to op­er­ate un­reg­u­lated un­til at least 2020 with the Govern­ment ex­pected to miss its Christ­mas dead­line to limit their power.

Weeks be­fore he was rolled, for­mer prime min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull promised stalled laws which would limit short-term loans to about 10 per cent of a cus­tomer’s net in- come, would be in­tro­duced be­fore the end of the year.

“Leg­is­la­tion will be pro­gressed this year, with the changes ap­ply­ing 12 months af­ter its pas­sage,” Mr Turn­bull wrote in a let­ter seen by The Sun­day Mail.

But Govern­ment sources say the tough new laws are un­likely to be in­tro­duced to Par­lia­ment and pass both houses by the end of the year.

Trea­surer Josh Fry­den­berg first an­nounced a re­view of the pro­posed leg­is­la­tion in Au­gust 2015.

Since then the loan shark crack­down has been the re­spon­si­bil­ity of five min­is­ters.

As­sis­tant Trea­surer Stu­art Robert, the new min­is­ter in charge, was one of a hand­ful of Lib­eral MPs who had pushed Cabi­net to wa­ter down the draft laws, which also cap in­ter­est re­pay­ment, ear­lier this year.

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