21 October 2015
Transcript - #2015024, 2015

Interview with Samantha Armytage, Sunrise, Channel 7

SUBJECTS: The Government’s response to the Financial System Inquiry, Joe Hockey

SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE:

Joining us now from Canberra is Treasurer, Scott Morrison. Treasurer, good morning to you.

TREASURER:

Good morning.

ARMYTAGE:

  This is a win for consumers but it has been a long time coming. Three treasurers, I don't know how many PMs – how did businesses get away with these super high surcharges for so long?

TREASURER:

Well, it's a good question but that won't be happening any longer. We will be legislating, put laws in place to ensure that these big mark-ups that come on surcharges will be banned and the ACCC will be policing that. You can't go around pretending that you've got all these costs in providing these services when they are not there. Businesses can charge their customers what they choose to but they can't pretend that there is this 9 per cent mark-up on something that's only costing them 0.5 per cent. So we are getting rid of that. I think that's a big win for consumers and that has been recognised by Choice and many other groups.

ARMYTAGE:

Are you going to be able to legislation the mark-up? Airlines, I booked a plane the other day, I think it was a 7 per cent credit card fee just to book it. Sometimes they get away with it by calling it a service fee. How are you going to stop them from just simply calling it a service fee and still charging 7 per cent?

TREASURER:

We will be introducing the legislation which means they can't pass on these ridiculous mark-ups, these costs and the ACCC will be the ones enforcing that law…

ARMYTAGE:

Will there be a figure? Will you put a cap on it so they can't get around this?

TREASURER:

It will be a legislative ban that presents - because the merchant will be charged something different by every bank or every card provider and what they are charging may vary. What we will legislation is the mark-up that they put on that and say that you can't put on a mark-up on those charges that you are getting. So, that's how the consumer will be protected. The business will only be able to charge the customer what it's costing them themselves.

ARMYTAGE:

Ok. As part of the Government's financial system overhaul, it's looking at the superannuation system.

TREASURER:

That's right.

ARMYTAGE:

How will be this better for consumers?

TREASURER:

The first point is the Government recognises that your super is your money. You should be able to decide where it goes. We are going to end the practice where unions can tell their members what funds their money has to go into. Even worse what happens, is they prevent members being able to say "No, I don't want my money in there, I want it over there." So we are going to end that practice where basically unions and businesses are working together to prevent people investing their super where they want it to go themselves.

ARMYTAGE:

Ok. Scott Morrison, while we have got you, Joe Hockey, your predecessor's last day in parliament today. Any words for Joe wishing him bon voyage?

TREASURER:

Joe's service to the parliament has been extraordinary, particularly as the Member for North Sydney who his constituents I know he will miss. He has been a great local member. He has also been a great frontbench member for 16 of his 19 years. A lot of great achievements over that career and we appreciate his service and wish him, Melissa and his family all the best in their new endeavours. They have made a great contribution to Australian public life.

ARMYTAGE:

Yeah, absolutely. Terrific, Scott Morrison, great to talk, thank you.

TREASURER:

Thank you.