The Federal Government faces calls to regulate property investment advisors in the same way as financial advisors following an exposé of land banking scams.
Many Australians have invested in land developments that will prove to be worthless, having been enticed by high-pressure sales tactics and misled into thinking they are buying land that will soon jump in value.
The Senate Economic References Committee has called for tighter controls on property investment advisors, saying they should be regulated by the Corporations Act.
Consumer advocates have long been concerned that debt management firms charge people for services they can access for free.
Consumers suffering financial hardship are being charged a variety of fees by firms that promise to help restructure personal debt and offer no refund if they fail.
The fees are high and often opaque, according to an investigation started by the Australian Securities and Regulation Commission (ASIC) following complaints by consumer advocates, banks, lawyers and ombudsmen schemes.
Generous tax benefits for superannuation and limited controls on contributions both magnify how the system works against women, researchers at Curtin University have told the Senate inquiry into economic security for women in retirement.
High-income earners and people with flexible assets that can be moved into super benefit from the structure of superannuation, say researchers from Curtin’s Women in Social and Economic Research (WISER) unit.
“Because women are underrepresented in these groups, they receive a relative small share of the benefits of the increasingly large tax expenditures on superannuation.”