Speaking to InvestorDaily, the CEO of the Financial Services Council (FSC) Blake Briggs said that the Labor government might consider an early election towards the latter part of 2024, once it has fulfilled its commitment to cut through the red tape burdening financial advice.
Reflecting on the developments of 2023, including progress made on the Quality of Advice Review and the proposed reforms within the superannuation sector, Mr Briggs said “there is reason for optimism” going into the new year.
“We do expect progress on financial advice deregulation and that is so important to the financial advice community. Every part of the advice value chain is just weighed down by the cost of regulation and the commitment by the minister to make progress on that is critical,” Mr Briggs said.
“We do expect to see legislation implementing that this year, with the hope that it would be in Parliament and through Parliament early in 2024. So, I think that will just be a really important start to the year and important win.”
The other thing to keep in mind, he said, is that 2024 will also “likely” be an election year.
“They could drag it into 2025, but it’s more likely to be the back end of next year and if that is the case, then, I might prove to be wrong, but governments tend to slow down the reform agenda in the lead up to an election because they don’t want to concern people and they want to focus on their election campaigns,” Mr Briggs said.
But, he noted, while regulatory changes and compliance expectations are unlikely to decrease, there may also be a slight reduction in legislative activity.
“We are lucky because we have regulators. When you look at the volume of superannuation reform that is being pushed out particularly through APRA at the moment, there is an enormous amount of work around data reporting, and coming from ASIC around the climate and the like, so I don’t think we’ll see a slackening off or a slowing down in regulatory change and compliance expectations but, with a bit of luck, there might be a bit of slowing in the legislative pipeline.”
Ultimately, Mr Briggs expressed his optimism for the upcoming year.
According to parliamentary documents, the earliest an election could take place is 3 August 2024, with that window set to close mid-May 2025. The only way for a joint House and Senate election to be held before that 3 August date is via a double dissolution.
Maja's career in journalism spans well over a decade across finance, business and politics. Now an experienced editor and reporter across all elements of the financial services sector, prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja reported for several established news outlets in Southeast Europe, scrutinising key processes in post-conflict societies.