Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has continued in resisting calls for him to apologise and admit he was wrong after he had routinely opposed any royal commission into the banking sector. Mr Morrison has instead directed his fire towards Labor’s Bill Shorten who he accuses of politicising the issue.
Mr Morrison announced harsher penalties for high profile white collar criminals that include maximum 10 year prison sentences and $210 million fines. However, the revelations that have so far emerged from the royal commission, such as AMP’s misleading ASIC, have prompted some to call for the government to apologise for resisting the idea of a royal commission for so long.
Bill Shorten, leader of the Labor party, has asked Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to say sorry for blocking the royal commission that Labor, the Greens and a few National MP’s supported.
Barnaby Joyce, former deputy prime minister, said that he was originally wrong to have blocked the injury into a royal commission. He added that the misconduct revealed throughout the banking sector goes further than he ever imagined.
However, Mr Morrison has stood fast in his refusal to apologise and has instead accused Mr Shorten of turning the royal commission into a way for him to earn political points. He said that he would not “hold back” from his attacks on Bill Shorten and added that he has “a whole bunch of others” that he could employ should they be relevant.
Mr Morrison went on to say of Mr Shorten that he “changes football teams” like he “wants to change seats”, referring to Mr Shorten having considered moving to a new electorate as his own seat was affected by AEC boundary alterations.
Anthony Albanese, Labor frontbencher, said that the royal commission had vindicated Labo’s intial concerns and he accused the government of operating a “protection racket” for the banking and finance sector. He added that the Liberals had voted against any royal commission on over 20 different occasions.
He went on to criticise the fact that when Coalition backbenchers also began supporting the royal commission the leadership “were describing it as a stunt” and telling the public that it would be a waste of time and money. He said that this was “populist nonsense” and showed irresponsibility from the federal government.