All new or renewed WorkCover premiums for NSW businesses will be cut by 5% from the end of 2007, Premier Morris Iemma announced today.
Iemma says the cut, which will give close to $110 million back to NSW businesses, is affordable because of the $812 million surplus achieved by the state’s WorkCover scheme this year.
Pressure has been mounting for deep cuts to the NSW WorkCover scheme, which in the past has been slammed by business groups as one of the most expensive in the country.
The premium cut is part of a broader package of reforms that will see lump-sum payments for workplace deaths or permanent injuries significantly increased and indexed annually to maintain their real value.
“This is the most comprehensive reform of the NSW worker compensation benefits regime since 2001 and will mean more than $50 million more each year being paid direct to injured workers and their families,” Iemma says.
The NSW Business Chamber today welcomed the premium cut, which is the fifth consecutive premium reduction in recent years.
“These latest cuts will further help NSW businesses to be competitive,” says Kevin MacDonald, NSW Business Chamber CEO. “The overall reductions in premiums are important, and we would hope continuing improvement in the scheme’s performance will enable future reductions.”