New Senate likely to axe financial advice law changes

DESPITE trying to change financial advice by circumventing the parliament, the Abbott Government's reforms can expect to be defeated when the new Senate sits next week.

The government's reforms, facing opposition from seniors, the superannuation industry and financial advice sector, can add Senators to the list.

Both The Greens and Palmer United Party on Tuesday declared their hand, confirming they would join Labor in opposing changes moved last week.

The changes, which critics have said water down strict rules on financial advice, commissions and potential conflicts of interest, were moved through a government-gazetted regulations change last Thursday.

That change, which enacts the government's reforms, was made only hours before a Senate inquiry called for a Royal Commission on similar issues at the Commonwealth Bank and enforcement by the companies' regulator.

But while it will avoid lengthy public debate in parliament, the gazette notice, approved by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, can be disallowed by the Senate.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann on Monday officially put the regulations in place, despite the potential for a disallowance motion to be moved when the new Senate sits.

It is this mechanism the Senate crossbench and opposition on Tuesday confirmed they would use to ensure the changes would not be passed.

The government's reforms are now in limbo, with critics urging the reforms to be dropped, despite public signals showing the government hopes to proceed.


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