Minister urges advisers to keep fighting

A cabinet minister has encouraged the financial advice community to continue engaging with the political process and making its voice heard, despite the setback of recent weeks.

Speaking exclusively to ifa, small business minister Bruce Billson said the Senate’s decision to throw out the government’s amendments to FOFA does not detract from the impressive grassroots lobbying campaign conducted over past months by advisers and their representatives.

“The world is run by people who turn up and there’s no substitute for engaging in the process,” Mr Billson said.

“I’ve had lots of discussions with many advisers, as have my colleagues, and that’s the best way on ensuring that the impact of these changes are understood and reflect the interests of smaller and independent advisers.

“There are some very big and powerful and self-interested groups that are pushing hard for outcomes that are advantageous to their position, but excessive regulatory overreach and compliance burden lands most heavily on smaller providers and that’s why their voice is so important in this debate.”

The minister also said that the advice industry should broaden its messaging to focus more on the good work they do in communities throughout Australia.

“Your readers are trusted advisers to hundreds of thousands of individuals who appreciate their expertise, care and professionalism,” he said. “That is credibility and experience built up over time and that needs to get out there.”

The government remains committed to the FOFA amendments and will take the policy to the next election whenever that may be, the MP for the Melbourne seat of Dunkley confirmed.

“We will continue with this work," he pledged, echoing recent sentiments from finance minister Mathias Cormann.

“The previous government’s overreach makes getting specialist advice more expensive and puts it out of the reach of the very people the parliament is seeking to protect."

“Unlike the previous government we are always keen to engage with and learn more from the coalface.”

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