Australian senator Pauline Hanson has demanded that the banks pay the cost of the royal commission and argued for the inquiry to probe even “deeper”.
Speaking on on the Seven Network's Sunrise on Sunday, the Queensland One Nation senator asserted her position on the amount of responsibility major banks should shoulder in the royal commission.
“We need to make the banks pay compensation to the people who have lost their properties, through legal costs, through losing their properties,” Ms Hanson said.
“The people must be compensated for this, and it’s going to cost millions of dollars, and they should also pay for the royal commission, not the taxpayer.”
She also added that she wanted to see the royal commission to “go deeper” in its scope of inquiry.
“I want to look at the liquidators, the receivers, the managers. We need to also look at mortgage insurance,” Ms Hanson said.
The royal commission already examined the mortgage and broking industry in its first round of hearings in March and is currently examining financial advice.
The next round of hearings has also been announced for 21 May, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises.
Ms Hanson also aimed some criticism at Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for not calling the royal commission earlier.
“We’ve dealt with them over the last year and a half and we were instrumental from the very first day I met the prime minister, calling for a royal commission into it.
“He wouldn’t give it to us, he was adamant, and then we actually then said: let’s have a senate inquiry, which we did.
“What we started discovering out of that, and the national party knew that we were actually very instrumental in getting evidence out of that, they then started calling for the royal commission,” Ms Hanson said.
In a statement issued on Monday, Mr Turnbull admitted that calling the royal commission so late had been a political blunder.
“I made the decision not to proceed with a Royal Commission and look politically, of course, you’re all right when you say it would have been better for us politically if we’d done so years ago, or several years ago,” Mr Turnbull said.
When asked why he did not go forward with the major enquiry earlier, he said calling a royal commission would have meant delaying reforms into the sector, citing a number of reforms the government had enacted recently.
“We’ve strengthened ASIC. We’ve created a one-stop-shop for consumer complaints against banks and other financial institutions.
“We’ve strengthened penalties. We’ve got them turning up the House Economics Committee to be accountable. We’ve changed the law so that bank executives are accountable.
“There’s been a huge change of reform and now we have a Royal Commission which has got much wider terms of reference than it would have had if it had been set up two years ago,” Mr Turnbull said.
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