Financial adviser refuses to apologise for anti-semitic abuse of MP over life insurance commission reforms

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A Brisbane financial adviser who abused assistant treasurer Josh Frydenberg over his religion says he stands by his comments after calling the MP a “tinkering Jew”.

James Howarth, the principal of Retirement Wealth Advisers, launched a tirade against the Victorian MP over plans to cap the life insurance commissions paid to financial advisers.

Howarth spent Sunday on Twitter railing against Frydenberg, who is Jewish, over the changes, calling him a “central planning Jew” and “c*%k sucker”. Howarth has nearly 6000 followers.

The Australian reports that Howarth defended his comments as “free speech”, saying “I stand by my comments”.

He declared the MP for Kooyong’s career “over” because of the changes, labelling him a “Slap stick comedy Jew” and “anti free market”, comparing the reforms to communist central planning.

In the past 24 hours, Howarth has posted more than 20 tweets directed at the assistant treasurer, including one that reads: “What a c*%k sucker. First course of action was to regulate insurance salaries. Tinkering Jew.”

Frydenberg has blocked Howarth on Twitter

Industry-led changes to commissions on retail life insurance announced last week will mean the maximum upfront commission is 60% of the policy premium in the first year beginning in 2018. The commission is currently up to 120%.

A 3-year transition period will see upfront commissions progressively drop and the reforms will cut an estimated $225 million from commission revenue annually by 2018. Trailing commissions will be capped at 20% from January 1, 2016. Volume-based commissions will also be banned from the start of the 2016-17 financial year.

One of the concerns about the existing structure was that it encouraged policy churn to maximise commissions.

Howarth has declared he will stop offering life cover advice from next year.

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