Financial Counselling Australia is delighted with today’s Government announcement about the establishment of an independent body to accept contributions from industry to fund financial counselling services.
Read More Financial Counselling Sector Applauds the Launch of New Funding Model
The implementation of an industry funding model, with funding administered by an independent body, was recommended by the Sylvan Review of financial counselling in March 2019. This was an appropriate, and innovative, response to the problem of long waiting lists to see a financial counsellor, including some people being turned away.
“If lotteries get this carve-out and people can use credit cards, it will be the thin edge of the wedge. They will then get carve-outs from future advertising and inducement reforms. We’ll regret this mistake when lotteries are advertised day and night and people increasingly spend large sums of money.”
Ms Levin said lotteries were no longer harmless fun as portrayed by providers. They were now also a far cry from the benign, government-owned public sweeps that we remember from childhood, and which had legislation that mandated donating money to charitable causes.
Read More ‘Not harmless fun’ – Advocates Call for Credit Card Ban to Extend to Scratchies and Lottery Tickets
“This legislation is terrific,” Ms Levin said. “We’re delighted that it covers not only credit cards, but also digital wallets and digital currencies.”
Read More FCA on the Credit and Crypto Gambling Ban
Ms Levin said the one area of disappointment was a carve-out for online lotteries.
Almost a year after state and territory consumer ministers agreed to open consultation on options to address the gap in Australian Consumer Law (ACL) around unfair trading practices, Treasury has released a Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (CRIS) and given stakeholders 91 days to respond starting 31st August and ending 29th November 2023.
Read More Consumer Groups Advocate for Change as Consultations Open on Unfair Trading Practices
Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) has welcomed the start of Australia’s first online gambling exclusion register, while at the same time calling on governments to expand the facility to casinos, pokies and lotteries.
“We started advocating for this in 2015 and didn’t give up, because we always knew that an online gambling self-exclusion register would help a lot of people,” Ms Levin said.
“Now we call on the state premiers to make BetStop a national register for all forms of gambling, including casinos, pokies, and lotteries. It’s not rocket science to simply give people the protection that they are asking for.”
Read More FCA Welcomes BetStop, Calls for Register to Extend Further
Financial Counselling Australia’s latest report, ‘Small Loans, Big Problems’, has highlighted once more the need for urgent reform to the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), especially with the continued cost of living crisis and with many still feeling the impact of the 2022 floods.
Read More Buy Now Pay Later – Debt Traps and Essentials
Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) welcomes the recommendations made by a Government inquiry into online gambling harm, saying the committee has heard the concerns of financial counsellors and the community, and responded.
Read More Financial Counsellors Welcome Proposal to Ban Gambling Ads and Inducements
Consumer groups and the financial counselling sector have welcomed the launch of a new customer code for the energy sector.
The Knock to Stay Connected customer code requires network companies to visit people at risk of disconnection and encourages them to outline the support and referral services available if the customer is having payment difficulties, with the aim of keeping them connected.
Read More Knock to Stay Connected: National Customer Code Welcomed by Consumer Groups