FOFA amendments in peril

The government’s planned changes to the Future of Financial Advice laws are in jeopardy following a deal struck between Labor and a number of key crossbench senators.

Yesterday, Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie of the Palmer United Party and Victorian Senator Ricky Muir of the Motoring Enthusiasts Party backflipped on their FOFA positions, effectively giving Labor and the Greens the necessary numbers to push a disallowance motion through the Senate.

At the time Mortgage Business went to press, the upper house was still to vote on the motion and the financial services industry was in a state of limbo in relation to whether the original FOFA legislation or the government’s slated amendments should serve as the template for implementation in advice businesses.

A Labor source within Parliament House told Mortgage Business sister title ifa that Ms Lambie and Mr Muir were reacting to negative public sentiment towards the government’s changes.

"Senators Lambie and Muir have spent the last three to four months listening to the concerns of both the government and the financial advice industry, and the concerns of national seniors, pension groups, consumer advocates such as Choice and, of course, victims of poor financial advice, and they have changed their position," the spokesperson told ifa.

"They have moved over to vote with the Labor, Greens, Madigan, Xenophon opposition to disallow the regulatory changes that were introduced on 1 July."

The backflip by Senators Muir and Lambie follows a spat between Ms Lambie and PUP leader Clive Palmer, which saw the Tasmanian senator contravening the PUP party line to vote against the government's social services bill this week.

Mr Palmer this morning took to social media to announce that Senator Lambie had been demoted within the party's ranks.

"The @PalmerUtdParty has removed @JacquiLambie as party's deputy senate leader & deputy whip & suspended her rights to attend party meetings," Mr Palmer tweeted.

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