25 Apr 2003

Samoan Government blames an increase in accidents for a raise in worker compensation charges

3:29 pm on 25 April 2003

The Samoan Opposition leader Le Mamea Ropati says the Government should acknowledge that changes to the Workers Compensation Fund are an unnecessary tax increase.

The Government introduced legislation this week to require workers to pay one percent of their weekly wages into the Fund.

Up to now only the employer has contributed to the Fund, which is administered by the Accident Compensation Board.

Le Mamea, who is a former Minister of the ACB, says it is flush with cash and there is no need to raise more from the workers.

But the current ACB Minister Mulitalo Siafausa says the Board is in fact running on overdraft because of an increase in claims.

He says an increase in boats and motor vehicles has led to more accidents.