Since its formation in 1927, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has been the peak trade union body in Australia. The ACTU consists of affiliated unions and State and regional trades and labour councils. There are currently 43 ACTU affiliates. They have approximately 1.5 million members who are engaged across a broad spectrum of industries and occupations in the public and private sector. As the voice of Australian workers, who make up the borrowers of Australian credit, the ACTU is opposed to the National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Supporting Economic Recovery) Bill 2020 and urges this Committee to recommend that the Bill not be passed.
It is our belief that this legislation needlessly and recklessly undermines responsible lending practices, weakens consumer protections and exposes the public and the economy to credit risk. It is disappointing that this legislation, which seeks only to further enrich some sections of the banking sector, is being presented as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We do not believe this measure will assist at all in the recovery from COVID-19 and that it is cynical and misleading for the Government to package it as such.