Premier Barry O’Farrell’s real motivations for slashing the state’s workers compensation system has been exposed by today’s announcement of a premium reduction for employers by an average of 7.5 per cent, according to Unions NSW.

“The O’Farrell Government’s spin was that the scheme was unsustainable and premiums would soar without changes, but less than 12 months after they took a knife to the rights of injured workers their real agenda has been exposed,” Unions NSW secretary Mark Lennon said.

“These changes were always about rewarding the business community with lower workers compensation premiums with no regard for the impact on tens of thousands of working families across NSW.

“Every day unions are being contacted by injured workers who have had their payments cut off or whose rights to even make a claim have been removed because of these changes.

“The impact on these families is devastating, with many forced to turn to friends, family and charities just to support themselves, while the financial and emotional stress is leading in some cases to family breakdown.”

The changes, in June last year, slashed workers compensation rights for all workers in NSW by:

removing coverage for travel to and from work;
stopping weekly payments for most injured workers after two and a half years;
capping medical payments for injured workers; and
preventing the partners of those killed at work from claiming for nervous shock.
“Premier O’Farrell and Finance Minister Greg Pearce have exposed their true colours with these changes,” Mr Lennon said.

“They are happy to crow about a reduction to workers compensation premiums, but they refuse to admit that their gift to the business community has been paid for by the suffering of thousands of NSW people who have been injured while simply going about their daily work.”

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