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Nine Months Persistence With ACC Pays Off

Federated Farmers' President Alistair Polson today congratulated the ACC Minister, Hon Dr Michael Cullen, on his announcement that he has given ACC policy direction on fixing the "double dipping" problem. "This is excellent news. This problem was not of Dr Cullen's making and I congratulate him on his leadership", said Mr Polson

"This announcement shows that small business, who have 'right on their side' can win in the end", said Mr Polson. "It is a victory for common sense."

"Federated Farmers first raised these concerns nine months ago when we discovered that some of our members were effectively being required to pay ACC twice for the same year", said Mr Polson.

"The federation has put considerable effort since June last year into convincing Dr Cullen that ACC's actions amounted to statutory theft", said Mr Polson.

Federated Farmers has argued for nine months that ACC's interpretation of the law was too narrow and that they had the legal power to ensure no person paid twice. The federation's own research, confirmed by two independent legal opinions, revealed that the current legislation provides ACC with sufficient flexibility to treat people fairly.

"I am very pleased that the ACC Board has at last responded positively to the Minister's policy decision and has agreed to reconsider individual cases on the basis of making sure they do not pay twice, and if they have, that they receive a refund, " said Mr Polson.

All employers who consider that they have paid ACC twice for the 1998/99 year should apply, or reapply as the case may be, to ACC to have their double charging rectified.

Employers that fit all of the three following criteria have been double charged if they were classified in 1999 as a "Later Scheme" Employer, and were required to pay a "12-month Invoice" for the period 1 April 1998 - 31 March 1999: * They run a business that was operating and employing staff on 31 March 1980 and continued to do so through to 30 June 1999; * Their businesses underwent some degree of restructuring between these dates; * They did not receive a cessation adjustment from Inland Revenue;

"All employers that fit into this category should contact ACC", recommended Mr Polson.


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