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Govt Rejects Opportunities

“The Coalition Government’s professed interest in acting for the poor is a sham” Mr Jennings said.

“Faced with the opportunity of opening up the disaster insurance market to competition, giving home owners choice of insurer and the opportunity to tailor a package to their own requirement with resulting cost savings, Dr Cullen, the Treasurer, lead the Government charge to vote it down.

“I am amazed at the ignorance of the Coalition Government on this issue. They either didn’t know or want to know that a significant number of low income families have no fire insurance and are therefore not covered by the Earthquake Commission,” he said.

Mr Jennings said few people understood that commercial buildings were no longer covered by the Commission. Further there was a lack of knowledge on how successful the transition for commercial building owners had been from the state monopoly to private insurers.

“The Coalition Government has deliberately denied home owners millions of dollars of savings by blocking this Bill to deregulate disaster cover,” he said.

“The risks to the Crown of continuing with the Commission are great. There is a potential un-funded liability of nearly $5 billion should a major disaster occur.

“The tax payers face a double whammy in this situation. They will have paid their premiums and will also pay extra tax to cover the inevitable borrowing by the Government to meet the short fall.

“The Government’s crocodile tears for the poor don’t wash. This Government is more interested in the ideology of state control and running big Crown accounts than it is in looking after low income home owners,” Mr Jennings said.

ends

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