Gladys woos tradie vote with fee cut
THOUSANDS of tradies will save hundreds of dollars in licensing fees as the Berejiklian government makes a major play for the blue collar vote.
Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean will today unveil a plan to slash licensing fees across 13 home building trades from current costs of up to $605 every three years to just $51 every five years in what he says is a sign the government is "running the economy for battlers not banks".
The government will pitch this idea as making it "easier for tradies to get ahead" - a deliberate play for skilled workers' votes as it battles to regain ground after weeks of damaging infighting and a loss in the Wagga Wagga by-election.
"Battlers and tradies are people who are trying to get ahead and too often they've been ignored and forgotten. These are our people, our base, they work hard and they deserve to be rewarded," Mr Kean said.
The reforms came about after Mr Kean asked more than 100 businesses and trade organisations to identify unnecessary regulatory burdens and compliance costs in May this year.
The government wants the policy to make inroads into Labor's own voter base.
Tradies have been particularly disgruntled by other issues dogging the state government, such as tolls and congestion.
There are 13 licences affected by the licence fee cuts announced today including painting, plastering, glazing and types of kitchen installations.
Under the plan NSW tradies will collectively save $52 million over a decade from not having to renew their licences every three years.
Instead they will get a licence once and then only have to update their details every five years.
The licensing issue for tradies has been mired in controversy, with industry associations criticising a discussion paper idea suggesting scrapping the licences entirely in some areas.
It's understood the plans announced today have been accepted by key industry groups with president of the Master Painters Association Robin Ottowa last night greeting the changes as a "terrific win".
Mr Ottowa had been outraged at the idea of eliminating licences completely but said keeping them and slashing the fees would be welcomed by the whole industry.
Legislation for the changes, called the Better Business Reforms, will be introduced to state parliament later this month.
The full list of licences that will become ongoing includes decorating, painting, fencing, glazing, kitchen and bathroom benchtop installation, splashback installation, paving, shower screen installation, ducting/mechanical ventilation, shade sails and shade systems installation, dry plastering, wet plastering and minor maintenance/ cleaning.