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Feds On Labour/Alliance ACC And E.C.A Policies

18 November 1999
PR125/99

LABOUR/ALLIANCE ACC AND E.C.A POLICIES WOULD DISADVANTAGE RURAL NEW ZEALAND

Federated Farmers said today that rural New Zealand would be disadvantaged by Labour/Alliance proposals to reverse the Employment Contracts Act and ACC deregulation, negating the rural recovery made after two years of adverse climatic conditions.

"Politicians must realise is that in exporting industries, additional costs reduce our competitiveness, and so cause unemployment. Re-imposing a state-owned and run ACC system and reducing workplace flexibility by altering the E.C.A. will cost the country many jobs," said President Alistair Polson.

"Rural New Zealand is dependent upon exporting agricultural products. A government would not be doing workers or employers a favour by reversing the ACC reforms or altering the Employment Contracts Act."

"To have economic prosperity in rural areas requires competitive industries, providing employment that is the lifeblood of rural New Zealand."

"The Labour/Alliance parties have clearly announced their intention to reverse the ACC reforms that have delivered very real benefits to farmers, the self-employed and the major agricultural processing industries."

"For the first time, the self-employed have a decent accident compensation system, which would be lost if the competitive insurance market was removed. The processing industries are also gaining from the lower insurance costs that competition is delivering."

"One major meat company saved $5.5m in ACC costs this year, part of the meat industries' saving of $20m. The major dairy co-operatives have indicated savings over $2m. Farmers saved around 30% on their ACC costs, which aggregates up to $15m across the country."

"Changes to the Employment Contracts Act would set back the grain and meat processing industries and dairy companies, as well as impacting heavily on the wool industry and many other rural enterprises. Agriculture has had huge productivity growth in the last nine years, partly through the flexibility of workplace arrangements allowed by the E.C.A."

ENDS For further information: Alistair Polson 025-370-085 Tom Lambie 026-113-161


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