New shadow minister for financial services

Shadow assistant treasurer, Luke Howarth, Opposition, Appointment, Peter Dutton

The federal opposition has reshuffled its frontbench and assigned Luke Howarth to oversee the financial services sector.

The federal opposition has announced the appointment of Luke Howarth to the role of shadow assistant treasurer and shadow minister for financial services.

Commenting on the move, opposition leader Peter Dutton said: “Luke understands that small business is the backbone of the Australian economy. He has previously run a family business before entering parliament and has a strong understanding of the financial pressures many Australians are currently experiencing under the government’s cost-of-living crisis. Luke will bring his strong command of retail economics to this important role.”

Howarth noted it was an honour to have been given the responsibility.

“Today I am honoured to accept the appointment of the role of shadow assistant treasurer and shadow minister for financial services,” he posted on social media.

“I look forward to working with a strong coalition finance team, with my colleagues [shadow treasurer Angus Taylor and shadow minister for finance Senator Jane Hume].”

The appointment of Howarth comes as a result of Stuart Robert’s resignation in May last year.

The Financial Advice Association Australia (FAAA) welcomed the announcement.

“We congratulate Luke Howarth on his appointment as shadow assistant treasurer and shadow minister for financial services,” FAAA chief executive Sarah Abood said.

“This is a critically important portfolio at a time when more Australians than ever need access to high-quality and affordable financial advice.

“We look forward to engaging with the shadow minister on the many current regulatory matters in our space, including the Quality of Advice Review reforms, and addressing the escalating costs to provide financial advice.”

At the recent SMSF Association National Conference, Taylor confirmed a coalition government would implement Michelle Levy’s recommendations from the Quality of Advice Review in full.

He suggested the government’s response to the review combined with the proposed Division 296 tax and the non-arm’s-length expenditure rules was an attack on SMSFs.

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