Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A bully pulpit

Over the past few months, concerns have been rising about profiteering by the major trading banks during the recession. Reductions in interest rates by the Reserve Bank have not been passed on, instead going straight into the coffers of the major banks' Aussie owners. The Reserve bank is concerned about this, but earlier in the month, government MP's prevented the Finance and Expenditure Committee from holding a formal inquiry into bank profiteering. So today the opposition decided to launch one of its own.

The inquiry has no official status and will have no formal powers. OTOH, banks refusing to cooperate with it can expect to be named and shamed in the media and have their name dragged through the mud under the full protection of Parliamentary privilege. It's an excellent use of Parliament as a bully pulpit by the opposition, and hopefully it'll result in some change from the Aussie profiteers.

If you'd like to submit to the inquiry, details are on its website here.