Mr Fixit on the run that is, from The Australian:
The Turnbull government is set to restore funding to the corporate watchdog, enabling it to conduct high-intensity surveillance of hot spots for misconduct in the financial services industry.
The government’s package of measures, which respond to an ASIC capability review and are designed to neutralise the Labor Party’s popular call for a banking royal commission, is likely to be announced today after being held over from its scheduled release yesterday.
It is understood that a proposed ASIC-led review of the banking industry — dubbed a Clayton’s royal commission — has failed to make the final cut.
The government is wary of any perceived similarity to a royal commission, which it has dubbed an expensive “two-year talkfest”.
While nobody doubts that Prime Minister Turnbull has an impressive policy cortex, his record on policy implementation is abysmal and getting worse. This is not all of this own fault. Some of it is the result of his political rivalry with Tony Abbott but he’s doing it nonetheless and it has become the hallmark of his leadership.
Today’s ASIC absurdity is only the latest malformed solution. There should obviously be some form of high level investigation into rampant banking malfeasance before deploying more funds to the very regulatory body that failed to prevent it, especially so when it was a back flip on previous funding removal. Simple probity demands it. But this is only the latest of PM Turnbull’s botch jobs:
- he was deployed to fix the NBN and instead reduced services at a marginal reduction in cost when it was the only major government project adding growth and productivity enhancement without costing the Budget a penny;
- he was deployed to fix Australia Post losses as structural change overwhelms mail usage and instead gutted services and ramped the cost of stamps, tipping the entity into an accelerating doom loop in which even less folks will now use mail more quickly;
- he campaigned for years for taxation reform to rebalance inequities and inefficiencies that are dividing Australian generations and making them all poorer then got into power and salted the earth around all potential policy changes so thoroughly that his party will be unable to revisit them for a generation;
- he wrote for years about housing bubbles and affordability problems but since his election to the leadership there has been a clear slowing in the ATO’s enforcement of foreign buyer law;
- he set about fixing the inefficiencies of horizontal fiscal equalisation in the Federation and instead blew them up in under 24 hours;
- he set himself the task of repairing Abbott’s broken policy processes and has instead gotten even worse with constant captain’s calls and hare-brained schemes;
- he was deployed as leader of the Liberal Party to bring it back to the centre and repair its electoral chances but has instead joined its cavorting pre-historic troglodytes and is sinking with them.
The pattern is one of overt pragmatism over values and policy process and it has cut a destructive swathe through the national interest of everything he has touched.
He was supposed to fix Australia and has instead broken it even more.