KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has delivered a warning to the Federal Government today that the Royal Commission into the Banks is at risk of delivering very little to the Australian people.
“A Royal Commission should operate in the glaring bright lights of the public gaze – the spotlight of the mass media and social media. But what we have is a watered-down version of a Royal Commission orchestrated by the same people it intends to investigate.”
Mr Katter accused the banks of setting Australians up for certain failure.
“Australia is out of step with the rest of the world because we have recourse lending. If you can’t a make house repayment, the banks sell you up and the shortfall between the money still owing and the fire sale price of the house stays as a debt with the borrower, once house owner.”
“Who is the most culpable in a loan where the borrower can’t repay the loan? I’d say the bank is in the best position to know whether the young family can afford the house or whether they can’t. So therefore, who should be most to blame? The bank of course. But the bank takes no blame at all, and the poor young couple, struggling with two or three kids, they now become a debt slave to the bank for forever”.
Mr Katter says that past Governments had downplayed the necessity for a Reconstruction Board which would see farmers on Government interest only (2.6%). Every Government in Australian history had this mechanism.
“Nearly half of our agriculture production is exported and is subjected to the wildest fluctuations in world market prices. Grains, beef and sugar all fluctuate by a 100% rise and then a similar fall, this happens regularly.”
“When the price goes down, land values go down, and the bank sells you up because the loan-to-equity ratio is shot to pieces even though the farmer has religiously met all his interest and repayments.”
“This is what the banks did for us: we received $750 million for struggling cattleman. We thanked Treasurer Swan and Treasurer Hockey but the LNP Government in Qld rolled it out to only four cattlemen in north and central Qld. Why no Reconstruction Board? Because the banks would lose business to the reconstruction board.”
“There is a farmer doing away with himself every four days in this country and no-one seems to think that there is any problem.”
“I would say that one in 10 of those problems comes from deficiencies in the banking system and the PM’s watered down Royal Commission will probably protect ‘what is’, rather than take us to ‘what might be’.”