Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wrong, wrong, wrong

Regarding the call for uninsured victims of the Victorian bushfires to be compensated for their loss from the bushfire donations to allow them to rebuild, mentioned here and in other places around the traps, it has been announced that the uninsured will be compensated from the fund.

UNINSURED bushfire victims who lost their homes to the Black Saturday blazes will receive funding from the bushfire appeal to help rebuild.

The head of the Victorian Bushfire Fund's advisory panel, John Landy, said part of the total of more than $200 million raised would be used to rebuild the homes of those with and without insurance. "What we said is when it is an owner-occupied situation we will be supporting the rebuilding whether they're insured or uninsured," he said on 3AW.

"People gave money in a terrible situation … people losing members of their families, their homes, everything. The humanitarian imperative overrules everything else."


With more than 2000 homes destroyed by the fires, Mr Landy said it was a complex task to determine the insurance cover and needs of fire victims.

Topping up the insured and fully funding those who were uninsured is not an outcome I agree with. Everyone should receive the same payment. I read today a suggestion that those uninsured should be means tested to see what level of financial assistance they should receive. If they'd lost all in a fire where their house was the only one burnt they may have received donations from locals and community groups, but it would never be enough to rebuild.

You takes the risk, you wear the consequences.

The only fair way to distribute the funds is for them to be equally divided amongst those suffering loss from the fires. There should be a basic amount for the level of loss, perhaps so much for contents, so much for complete house... but noone should be fully funded. And I agree the uninsured should be means tested - that way if they truly were unable to insure they would be assessed as such. (Although why you wouldn't scrape up the money to insure I'll never understand!)

More here (Melbourne HS)

No comments: