O'Farrell prepares to slash workers compensation
An inquiry into workers compensation payments announced today by the O'Farrell Government will be nothing more than a whitewash – designed to give the Premier political cover to slash employees' entitlements, said Opposition Leader, John Robertson today.
"Barry O'Farrell has made it clear he plans to slash workers compensation payments – and today's announcement confirms that," said Mr Robertson.
"A Parliamentary Inquiry stacked out with conservative MPs will now decide the fate of injured workers across NSW and that will mean savage cuts to entitlements.
"People who work hard and play by the rules will be hit hardest by Barry O'Farrell's plans to slash workers compensation payments.
"Workplace accidents are indiscriminate and random. They can happen to any person, at any time, working in any industry - and that's why the workers compensation safety net is so important.
"Reducing workers compensation entitlements will mean that if you are injured on the job tomorrow – you and your family will miss out on help to pay the bills and pay the mortgage.
"Barry O'Farrell's decision to convene a Parliamentary Inquiry is a cowardly act from a Premier who knows these reforms are wrong, but intends to implement them anyway.
"I fear these reforms are driven by the Premier's desire to punish Labor supporters and unions – but in doing so, he is undermining the entitlements of every employee in NSW."
Reports in a Sydney newspaper yesterday confirmed the O'Farrell Government is considering the following measures to slash workers compensation entitlements:
- Abolishing lump sum payments for injured workers with less than 10 per cent whole body impairment;
- A two and a half year cap on compensation payments for injured or disabled workers; and
- A nine year cap on entitlements for all workers, except those who are totally incapacitated.
Shadow Minister for Finance and Services Michael Daley said the changes foreshadowed over the weekend by the O'Farrell Government are not supported by the PWC review commissioned by the Minister into Workcover.
"Workers will lose their homes and families will be left destitute if savage cuts to workers compensation payments are implemented," said Mr Daley.
"In 2012, there is no excuse for reducing the safety net for dead and injured workers – the safety net should be strengthened, not torn apart."
Tags: Barry O'Farrell, Industrial relations, John Robertson, Michael Daley, workers, workers compensation