Massive WorkCover levy increases on aged care providers in South Australia are a disgrace, according to Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas.
Mr Lucas said the Liberal Party was deeply concerned by the feedback it had received from aged care providers right across the state, including:
• LHI Retirement Services, located at Glynde, which advised their levies this year have increased by a massive $247,000 per year.
• Matthew Flinders Home, of Port Lincoln, being hit with a levy increase of 49 per cent – an annual increase of $156,712.
• Family Home Support Services, of Payneham, which now has to pay $50,000 per year, almost double what it previously paid. The organisation has had no WorkCover claim since 2006, but has been the victim of an industry code reclassification by WorkCover.
Mr Lucas said aged care providers were already operating under very tight budgets.
“WorkCover, supported by the Labor Government, has moved to its new Experience Rating System, which has led to these massive increases for aged care providers and other organisations,” Mr Lucas said.
“The Minister for WorkCover, Mr Snelling, must explain why he has supported their new WorkCover levy changes being imposed on the aged care sector which is not in a position to pay such massive increases in costs.
“For example, LHI’s WorkCover levy for 2012/13 will be $1,445,000 – ten times their average annual claims costs over the past two years.
“Aged care providers have indicated they will have to reduce the quality of services provided to elderly people to pay for the increased WorkCover levies.
“Jobs will also be lost, which increases the risk of further work injuries to those staff left with increased workloads.
“It makes no sense at all that South Australian aged care providers should be singled out and punished because of the Labor Government’s failure and mismanagement of the WorkCover system.”