Greens Treasury spokesperson Senator Peter Whish-Wilson welcomes the Government’s adoption of Greens policy positions on stronger white collar crime penalties after years of campaigning and Senate work.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Like the Royal Commission, investigating new white collar crime penalties was a recommendation of the 2013-14 Senate Inquiry into ASIC.
“That seminal Inquiry recommended that the Government review existing penalties for white collar crime, but the Government refused then to act. Following this, I moved for an additional Senate Inquiry into white collar penalties that presented its report in November 2015.
“In that Inquiry report I argued that there need to be a sharp increase in civil and criminal penalties including higher fines and jail terms, that fines be a multiple of the amount of money illegally gained. And I also argued that a new disgorgement powers be made available to ASIC so that any ill-gotten gains can be clawed back.
“Scott Morrison has cut and pasted much of the Greens policy positions on white collar crime and we welcome him doing so. It would have taken some of the political pressure off him if he’d borrowed them earlier and I am always willing to take his calls if he wants to discuss or implement more of our ideas.
“The Government has now adopted the majority of the entire banking policy package we took to the Federal election including a bank levy, a Royal Commission that is examining breaking up the banks, reform of the financial ombudsman and now new financial penalties.
“What we need to see now is a vastly more well-resourced ASIC that is no longer afraid prosecute white collar crime. We need to actually deliver penalties that hurt crooks and demonstrate to the public that justice has been done. The days of ASIC giving slaps on the wrist in exchange for promises and platitudes from players like the big banks should be over,” he concluded.