Today, Aleana Young, Official Opposition Critic for SGI, and Trent Wotherspoon, Official Opposition Critic for Finance, called on the Sask. Party government to provide rebates of $250 to each SGI policyholder to help offset the rising cost of living.
“This has been a difficult year for so many Saskatchewan families,” said Young. “But it’s clear from SGI’s ballooning Autofund reserve that Saskatchewan people are paying too much for their car insurance. The very least the Sask. Party can do is give the excess cash back to those who paid it in the first place: the people of Saskatchewan.”
Recently, SGI released its mid-year report that shows that the Rate Stabilization Reserve (RSR), which is designed to act as a buffer to prevent large increases to premiums, has grown to nearly $1.3 billion. The RSR now sits $303 million above SGI’s target and has increased nearly six-fold since 2014.
The independent Rate Review Panel said in its October 2021 report “The Panel considers the excess build up in the RSR to be a once-in-a-lifetime event that should be addressed as soon as possible."
Young and Wotherspoon noted that many Saskatchewan families could use the extra cash, with numerous challenges ahead in 2022:
- A recent report shows that Saskatchewan experienced a higher rate of food price inflation in 2021, and that 2022 “could see price increases of up to 7%,”
- Saskatchewan will once again have the lowest minimum wage in the country once New Brunswick raises its minimum wage in April,
- The rate of Saskatchewan mortgage arears continues to lead the nation.
“These are dollars that belong to Saskatchewan people,” said Wotherspoon. “Even after last year’s rebate – which the Sask. Party only implemented after we called for it – Saskatchewan people are struggling with the rising cost of living and lasting damage to our economy caused by the Sask. Party’s failure to get the fourth wave of COVID under control.”
Young and Wotherspoon also called on the government to comply with the recommendations of the Rate Review Panel to reduce rates for SGI policyholders, justify SGI’s targets for the RSR, and provide greater transparency.