Monday, December 04, 2006

Way to go Graham & co

I am quite impressed with this announcement today. Promise made, promise kept.

I don't have time to search for links right now, but I know I saw a lot of Tories both on blogs and in the media said that the Liberals would never be able to do this, that insurance reforms had worked, that the rates were down and that they'd go down no further because they were as low as they could go.

Well guess what? We were still getting hosed by the insurance companies and Shawn Graham, T.J. Burke and friends are saving New Brunswickers $50 million dollars a year on top of what they've already saved since rates started going down in 2003/04.

Moreover, young men will no longer be discriminated against and will pay the same as young women.

Well done!!!

Also, two other good announcements which I missed on Friday:
UPDATE: In the comments section, I was wondering about potential future rate increases. I hear that there is good protection against this in the plan. I understand the the Insurance Advocate is going to get more teeth AND they will be appointing a public intervenor (i.e. like Peter Hyslop at the PUB). Looks good...


scott said...

Are Liberals planning to pocket the phantom 0.75 cents.

"After considering the recommendations provided by the board, government approved an increase to the provincial minimum wage rate to $7 per hour on Jan. 1, 2007, and another increase to $7.25 per hour on July 1, 2007."

nbpolitico said...

WHOOPS! Seems I am out to lunch, I missed something there it is going to $7.25, you're correct.

Brent said...

This may come as a surprise, but only for those who have never read my musings on insurance over the last four years.

Capitalist as I am, I decided several years ago that the private insurance companies (much like chartered banks) have been given a license to print money and and jerk still more of it from the pockets of captive Canadians and New Brunswickers.

I was a good soldier during the election, of course, and I was quite impressed with the progress made to bring rates down, but I'd be lying if I said I had given up on my dream of public insurance.

For me it was not so much about rates (I shopped around and found an excellent rate for me) as it was about the absolutely criminal way the companies handled claims, arbitrarily charged accidents to policyholders, and completely left them out of the process.

That drove many people to self-insure, rather than claim anything at all, for fear of getting hammered and denied fundamental process. Basically, insurance companies can/could convict a customer, fine them through years of higher premiums, and the sorry customer had virtualy no recourse.

Good for Shawn and TJ. Git 'er done, boys.

nbpolitico said...

Very good and succinct analysis of the reality Brent.

I wonder if they're putting any safe guards into the system to prevent big insurance from slowly-but-surely ratcheting the rates back up.

scott said...

Shit BT,

You and I are curiously sounding more collegial and liberal as the days past. We must be suffering from the tory blues. ;-)

As for the 0.75 cents, what's a few quarters for a guy who has been drinking for free the last 86 hours, eh nbpolitico? lol

nbpolitico said...

You've got my number Scott! Though I do recall when I worked for Paul Duffie's leadership campaign, we were going to pledge a $8 minimum wage by the end of mandate ending in 2007, so maybe it is just old memories blasting to the forefront.

scott said...

Btw, thx for the link. I can't believe you aren't on my favorites list on my blog. I guess I keep clicking on from the toolbar.

Anyway, you have been added.

nbpolitico said...

np - I was of the same thought when I realized you weren't on mine!

scott said...

Paul Duffie? $8 dollars an hour by the end of mandate ending in 2007? Not bad.

You sound a lot like me, nbpolitico. You've backed some pretty good people in your day, however, the end results were unfavourable. I was with Preston Manning in 2000 and both bids by Tony Clement. Ouch!!

Speaking of policy proposals, my favorite was by Tony in 2002. It was called "Jump Start 250". He proposed a radical restructuring of the current tax system in which, done incrementally, all federal income tax rates would be set according to accumulated rather than by annual income.

It was geared towards newbies out of high school and university grads where each individual's first $250,000 of income upon entering the workforce would be tax-free. From there, Canadians would continue to pay lower taxes during their early employment years, graduating to higher rates as they gained cumulative income.

From $250,000 to $500,000, the rate would be 14 per cent; from $500,000 to $750,000, 20 per cent; from $750,000 to $1 million, 24 per cent; and past that point, 27 per cent.

That and $8 dollars an hour would be a sweet change for New Brunswickers. There has to be something done here to put more emphasis back on the importance and value of labour rather than collecting EI.

nbpolitico said...

Don't tell that to the editorialists who said we'd drive every mom and pop corner store into the ground by doing it.

Sounds like an interesting proposal on Tony's part - I've never really followed Ontario politics that closely. I take it you used to live in Upper Canada?

scott said...

I want to call Ottawa centre living, than yeah.

scott said...

It should have been:

'If you want to call Ottawa centre living, than yeah.'

nuna d. above said...

"Moreover, young men will no longer be discriminated against and will pay the same as young women."

Making auto insurance cheaper for young men causes the death rate from car accidents to go up. The National Post did a story on how this happened in Sask. after public auto insurnace was brought in.