Nov 2018

Katter backs ALP's harsher penalties for corporate crims, slams Govt's "wet lettuce" bill

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KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has supported amendments proposed by the ALP in Parliament this week that would increase penalties for corporate criminals.

The amendments include increasing jail time from 10 to 15 years and removing the cap on financial penalties.

“I'm supporting Labor on these amendments,” Mr Katter said, proving he puts the needs of his electorate first and refuses to be a puppet in Canberra who votes unwaveringly with the LNP.

“On the banking inquiry: we had legislation drawn up, and Mr Turnbull gazumped us. Well, congratulations to him. He put out a pathetic inquiry which, quite frankly, is achieving virtually nothing – it was a piece of wet lettuce legislation.”

Mr Katter said the inquiry and ALP’s amendments needed to explore redress for people who had been improperly taken to the cleaners by the banks.

Despite not advocating punishment, he said financial administrators should be held to account.

“Those decision-makers who were responsible for making those decisions should be taken out of working in the financial field forever,” he said.

“Look at the Goldman Sachs example in the United States – here was a company that precipitated the GFC and it was running the American economy straight afterwards.

“The immortal words of Barack Obama were that those people responsible for what happened had five of the 11 most powerful positions in the nation. He said, 'When I become President, that will change'. And it did. It wasn't five out of 11 – it became eight out of 11; not only were they not punished, but the person who was supposed to punish them rewarded them.”

Mr Katter said Australia’s recourse lending to banks played a vital role.

“If you can't make the repayments on your house—and I'd say probably 30 per cent or 40 per cent of Australians can't make the repayments on their house—the banks take the house from you and sell it up, and, because it falls short of the amount that they're owed, they can pursue you for the rest of your life,” he explained.

“If you have a half-million-dollar home and you've got a debt of $300,000, if they sell it up for $200,000, you carry that debt until the day that you die; you are a debt slave to the banks forever.”

However, elsewhere in the world, Mr Katter said the loss was more evenly shared.

“In America they call it jingle mail: 'I can't make the repayments, here's the key to the house, see you later, alligator’ and the banks share the loss,” he said.

“Yes, this bloke has lost the house, he's lost the repayments he's made on the house, but the banks also take a loss.”


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