It was disappointing to see today the new Treasurer choosing to play politics over the national interest on comprehensive credit reporting legislation.
 
The reason that Scott Morrison – and now Josh Frydenberg – have failed to secure the passage of this legislation through the parliament is they failed to get hardship policy right from the start. Too much focus on announcements and not enough on policy work.
 
This was a legislative nightmare Mr Frydenberg inherited from his predecessor, the now Prime Minister.
 
The comprehensive credit reporting legislation has been parked in the Senate without coming to a vote for three months now.
 
Scott Morrison asked the Parliament to pass legislation that forced the banks to share repayment history information (RHI) before consumers, financial counsellors or providers understood the ground rules on hardship policy.
 
Labor rightly insisted the hardship provisions be sorted BEFORE the legislation is implemented. Doing it the Morrison/Frydenberg way would have seen people who do the right thing and approach their bank about hardship unfairly penalised. 

Putting the cart before the horse was the wrong way to proceed and nothing has been seen or heard about the Attorney-General’s Department’s consultation process on hardship policy since March.
 
The Liberal Party has been holding on to the AGD’s draft discussion paper on hardship policy for some time now – it’s past time they released it so stakeholders and the government can advance policy in this area.
 
If the Liberal Party gives up on passing this legislation, inevitably it will fall to a Labor Government to get hardship policy right before seeking passage of credit reporting legislation.