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National's ACC privatisation plans in question

CTU MEDIA RELEASE 18 September 2008

National's ACC privatisation plans in question following AIG collapse; parallels to HIH

The Council of Trade Unions is challenging National leader John Key to state whether he is still in favour of privatising accident compensation, following the US government bailout of insurance giant AIG.

"John Key said in July it was "almost certainly likely" that National would privatise the ACC work account," CTU president Helen Kelly said today.

"The last time National let the private insurance industry loose on our accident compensation one of the providers, a subsidiary of HIH Insurance which had up to 40 percent of workplace cover, went bust with losses of around $1 billion. Fortunately by the time of their collapse the government had renationalised the scheme."

"The bailout of AIG sends a strong warning to voters - National wants our accident compensation and rehabilitation managed by firms just like these ones."

"No one wants this ACC privatisation policy - health professionals, workers and the business community have said there is no appetite for change."

"National has ignored the evidence from PricewaterhouseCoopers which noted ACC was a world leader, and they are continuing with their plans to privatise it. We don't think workers' health and safety is worth the risk," Helen Kelly said.

ENDS

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