Hartsuyker criticises govt bank guarantee

PENSIONERS and retirees will be left with no money to feed themselves because of the Federal Government's deposit guarantee scheme, according to a Coffs Coast politician.

Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker was commenting on remarks made by Treasurer Wayne Swan who encouraged people to visit Centrelink if they were unable to access their funds because they had been frozen by a financial institution.

“The Treasurer knows that the majority of these people are not going to qualify for any assistance because the funds invested are considered an asset and therefore exceed Centrelink's Assets Test,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“These comments by the Treasurer are callous and show a complete disregard for the situation which has been created by the Government.”

Mr Hartsuyker said the Government must act to remove any barriers which restricted those investors whose funds were frozen from accessing Centrelink benefits. “There are many self-funded retirees who solely rely on the income from these funds to survive and the Treasurer must provide some assurance that these people are not going to be turned away when they go to their local Centrelink office.”

Mr Hartsuyker said the Government had created a lot of uncertainty and instability through their poor management of the global financial crisis.

“Instead of getting the detail right, Kevin Rudd announced an unlimited guarantee on bank deposits, which has severely distorted the capital markets,” he said. “There has been a rush by investors to move their cash from funds which are not covered by the guarantee to those funds which Mr Rudd says will be covered. This run on funds has prompted fund managers to freeze redemptions (withdrawals).



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