Revenue shuffle risks long-term entitlements of injured people

Revenue shuffle risks long-term entitlements of injured people

According to the Auditor General's report on the Annual Financial Report of the State of Victoria, which was tabled in Parliament on 14 November 2012, the government has been siphoning revenue from various authorities in order to meet its fiscal objectives. This includes dividends from the Victorian WorkCover Authority and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), both of which support thousands of Victorians who have been injured and require medical treatment.

The Auditor General reported that in the 2011-2012 financial year, the government took the following amounts from the Schemes:

  • $147 million from WorkCover and
  • $40 million from the TAC

These represent an increase on dividends paid to the government by the authorities in previous years. The dividend paid by the TAC was equivalent to 75% of its profit from insurance operations, up from 50% in the previous financial year. The 2011-2012 financial year was also the first year in which the Victorian WorkCover Authority was required to pay a dividend to the government.

According to the Auditor-General's report, the government's strategy is risky and relies on the ability of the TAC and WorkCover to either generate surplus or borrow to pay the dividend.

The report states that this strategy could risk the long-term financial sustainability of WorkCover and the TAC. Such findings are very concerning for the many injured people who rely on both the TAC and WorkCover for the provision of long-term medical assistance.

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