New-look Treasury to continue reform momentum



The FSC is confident Kelly O’Dwyer will continue the reform agenda of her predecessor Josh Frydenberg, following her appointment to the dual roles of Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Small Business.

With Ms O’Dwyer’s appointment to the federal cabinet on Sunday afternoon – which also saw previous Minister for Social Services Scott Morrison given the role of federal Treasurer, taking over from Joe Hockey– FSC acting chief executive Andrew Bragg said the council anticipated the new Treasury team will maintain the reform momentum of previous ministers.

“We expect the new Treasury team will hit the ground running during this term to complete the reform agenda established by their predecessors,” Mr Bragg said.

"Life insurance reform is overdue. The sustainability reform proposals have taken five years to develop and must swiftly progress."

However, AIOFP executive director Peter Johnston said Ms O’Dwyer’s appointment as both Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer is “great news” for the industry.

“This should be a game changer with our ‘Battle for Fairness’ campaign,” Mr Johnston wrote in an email to his members.

“With Kelly having both portfolios she will more than likely have a sympathetic ear for small business operators, and not coming from an institutional background will tilt the ‘fairness barometer’ in favour of consumers and advisers,” he said.

Also commenting on Ms O’Dwyer’s appointment, AFA national president Deborah Kent said the association was looking forward to the opportunity to consult with the new minister.

“Ms O’Dwyer will have significant decisions to make in the government’s response to the Financial System Inquiry, the area of professional standards for financial advice, and also in regard to the future of life insurance advice,” Ms Kent said.

“These issues have significant implications for the future of self-employed advisers and small business financial advice practices – two groups that ensure appropriate competition in financial services,” she said.

Ms O’Dwyer, elected to parliament in December 2009 for the seat of Higgins – former seat of Peter Costello – replaces Mr Frydenberg who now moves onto the portfolio of Resources, Energy and Northern Australia.

“The Assistant Treasurer is in effect the minister for revenue and is responsible for the tax system, which is at the very centre of our whole productivity agenda, indeed at the very centre of the small business agenda,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Sunday.

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