Yesterday afternoon, May 16, I had a call from at Transport Accident Commission rep to let me know they had the FoI request for information on the TAC antibike tax they call a safety levy. This FoI request is limited to the 2014/15 financial year.
The call was unnecessary. We knew the FoI request was made. The information requested is readily available, or should be. It should be a simple accounting task to find and print the figures. These are public figures or should be. There are no privacy or commercial in confidence concerns.
The TAC is a Victorian Government owned, taxpayer funded organisation with a monopoly on a compulsory product - compulsory third party insurance.
The rep was very nice about it. She tried to tell me That the numbers were on the TAC & VicRoads websites. I said we wanted the FoI request data on paper.
I pointed out that we had been asking for information on the TAC tax for years. She said they would get onto it and deliver within 45 days. She said 45 days several times which I think may have been playing for time.
I said 2016 had been a horrible year for motorcycle & scooter riders with a terrible, abnormal spike in deaths and injuries. When the bike toll was lower in the first part of 2017 TAC told the media that the improvement was because its’ policies were working. An outrageous claim on a couple of months data.
If TAC/VicRoads/VicPol policies were working the 2016 spike would not have happened.
I said that the claim of policy success was the last straw and there were formal complaints to the ACCC and the Financial Services Ombudsman, about the way TAC/VicRoads bills riders for the tax, the lack of information/education about the tax and the difficulty riders had getting refunds for overpayments.
The 2012 Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety recommended the TAC anti bike tax be abolished. The TAC tax is a disincentive for riders on low incomes to buy quality safety gear.