The CEO of the AIOFP, Peter Johnston, reports on the Emerging Blame Game

A sure sign of an approaching re – electoral phase is the indiscriminate blame game where facts are often overlooked for motley headlines to gain advantage over the opposition. We currently have this happening with Minister Jones coming under heavy fire from the Liberal Party for the drafting errors of the QAR Tranche 1 proposed legislation and its content.

The AIOFP Board backed the ALP leading into the 2022 Election for good reason. The Liberal Party had purposely targeted the Advice community to cull Advisers by stealth with vicious legislation to starve and intimidate Advisers out of the client relationship and it worked very well. Sitting on the fence was not an option for us.

To the Liberal Party’s credit however, they have recently acknowledged their past mistakes and are willing to work with the Advice community in a positive manner.

The ALP and Minister Jones started well after attaining office but have disappointed on several fronts in recent times. Minister Jones pre – election promise to deliver on the Education Pathways legislation is the highlight but his handling of the QAR response and Treasury consultation process has been poor to say the least. It is quite apparent the Canberra Bureaucrats have infiltrated his office in the past and drove these outcomes.

The famous words from the 20th Century Novelist, Movie Script Writer and 1917 Russian Revolution escapist AYN RAND best sums up the current situation for the Advice Community –

‘If a Businessperson makes a mistake, they must suffer the consequences. If a bureaucrat makes a mistake, you suffer the consequences.’

The next 6 – 12 months is the time to take advantage of Politicians wanting votes and locking in desired legislation to circumvent the Bureaucrats agenda. Bureaucrats can’t change the Law but they can influence policy development and direction in its infantile  stages.

The role of the Canberra Bureaucrats going forward is our greatest threat to achieving what we want as an industry, we must find a path to counteract their influence. We are pleased to note however that Minister Jones is currently seeking a new Senior Adviser, lets just hope lessons have been learnt and this person is experienced from the market with no bureaucrat history or heavy connections.

If the Advice Community does not have ‘iron clad’ bipartisan agreement leading into the election with the abolition of the Consent forms, ASIC/CSLR levy terms and returning risk back to pre LIF conditions, it will be another hard 3 years before this pre – election opportunistic window reopens.

The Advice community needs to engage their clients with the political discourse and how current policy is directly negatively affecting their financial position and establish a healthy fighting fund to influence outcomes.

We need to continually remind Politicians that the Advisers and their clients represent over 3,000,000 votes, the AIOFP has a plan for both strategies which are currently being executed.


Peter Johnston | Executive Director
Association of Independently Owned Financial Professionals
Suite 1211, 1 Queens Road, Melbourne VIC 3004
P 1800 111 203, d 03 9863 7574, m 0418 857 621 | Download my business card

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