New research by the Institute of Public Affairs explains why the Turnbull Government’s proposed changes to consumer lease regulation would amount to unnecessary red tape.
The rental of household goods and appliances is an industry worth an estimated $596 million. Like all financial services providers, lessors are required to abide by responsible lending practices under existing consumer credit law. There appears to be no justification for adding to this regulatory burden, given that the number of complaints made against consumer lease providers remains relatively low.
Supporters of the reforms rely on evidence of ‘unscrupulous behaviour’ in the industry. However such evidence is arguably limited, anecdotal and preoccupied with extreme examples of ‘rogue’ operators.
It would be unfortunate if policy-makers use this scant evidence as justification to overburden an industry that allows many Australians to access basic household amenities that would otherwise be unavailable.
Originally published 17/11/17