Treasury

18
Jun

WorkCover premium cut saves businesses $40 million

Treasury Portfolio

From 1 July, the average WorkCover premium will be cut by 2 per cent – which builds on the 3 per cent premium cut delivered in the 2012/13 State Budget.
 
Additional premium discount of 5 per cent offered on annual premium when paid by 1 August 
Victoria’s payroll tax reduced to 4.85 per cent in the 2014/15 State Budget.
 
The Victorian Coalition Government’s infrastructure program will generate 60,000 jobs and $10 billion in economic growth, with Melbourne’s West receiving 40 per cent of the benefits.

Speaking at the Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) Business Leaders lunch today, Premier Denis Napthine outlined the Coalition Government’s key economic priorities, the government’s $27 billion infrastructure program and the benefits that will flow from a cut to WorkCover premiums. 

Dr Napthine announced that the Victorian Coalition Government will reduce the average Victorian WorkCover premium for 2014/15 by 2 per cent from 1 July, representing a saving of $40 million for employers.

“The Coalition Government is committed to working with employers to create safer workplaces and this cut to premiums will help businesses stay competitive, and drive investment, jobs and growth across Victoria,” Dr Napthine said.

The current average premium rate of 1.298 per cent of payroll will fall to an average of 1.272 per cent.

“More than 75 per cent of employers will benefit from stable or lower premiums as a result of this cut, with 115,883 businesses paying less for their premiums in 2014/15,” Dr Napthine said.

“The Coalition Government has ensured that the WorkCover scheme is operating as efficiently and cost effectively as possible, enabling Victoria to retain its record low premiums.”

Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips said the premium cut is sustainable and continues the downward trend in premiums under the Coalition Government. Mr Rich-Phillips also noted that Victoria continues to have the lowest rate of workplace injuries.

“For the first time, an additional premium discount of 5 per cent will be offered to employers who pay their annual premium by 1 August 2014, and this has also been extended to smaller employers who pay the minimum premium,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

Dr Napthine said that Victoria was in a strong position as a result of sound responsible economic management and that the Victorian economy continued to perform well.

“We are the envy of other states and territories. We are the only state to have a stable Triple A credit rating with a $1.3 billion surplus this year and surpluses for every year of the forward estimates, rising to $3.3 billion in 2017/18,” Dr Napthine said.

“There are now 77,200 more people employed than when Labor left office. Exports are up 11.5 per cent, annual retail trade is up 7.2 per cent, dwelling unit approvals rose strongly in April, and Victoria’s manufacturing industry recorded its first expansion since 2010. Victorian state final demand also increased over the year to March – the second strongest performance across the nation.”

Dr Napthine said the benefits of the Coalition Government’s $27 billion infrastructure program are far reaching, with real solutions being delivered for public transport and roads across Victoria.

Dr Napthine said the significant benefits to Melbourne’s West include unleashing the potential of the public transport system with state-changing projects such as the Melbourne Rail Link that includes the Airport Rail Link and the Regional Rail Link which untangles the network and will reduce delays.

“The Budget indicates 26,000 new jobs will be created during construction of this infrastructure agenda, and work undertaken by consultants SGS Economic and Planning shows that by 2031 these projects will generate almost 60,000 new jobs and boost Victoria’s economy by about $10 billion per year,” Dr Napthine said.

“Two projects alone – the East West Link and the Melbourne Rail Link – will increase Victoria’s GDP by a total of $6 billion and result in 34,500 jobs. 

“Melbourne’s West will receive 40 per cent of the benefits of these projects, estimated at $3.9 billion. This represents a 12 per cent increase in the economy of Melbourne’s West, brought about by the East West Link and Melbourne Rail Link.”

Dr Napthine said these significant economic benefits flowing to the West were only put at risk by Daniel Andrews and Labor, who opposed the projects. 

“Labor has turned its back on the West, which stands to benefit most from the increased business and employment opportunities flowing from these key infrastructure projects.

“Only the Coalition Government will build the East West Link, the Melbourne Rail Link, and the Airport Rail Link – which will create a massive economic boost to the Victorian economy and create thousands of jobs. 

“Labor is a massive risk to our economy and future prosperity. They have no plan to support businesses, no vision, and no new ideas for the State of Victoria,” Dr Napthine said. 

Media contacts:
Martin Barr 0418 101 127 martin.barr@minstaff.vic.gov.au (Premier)
Justine Sywak 0448 448 487 justine.sywak@minstaff.vic.gov.au (Assistant Treasurer)
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