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PM Grossly Ignorant On ACC Issues

Gerry Brownlee, MP
Opposition ACC Spokesperson

8 February 2000

PM Grossly Ignorant On ACC Issues

Helen Clark's statement that there was no evidence that employers were getting cheaper premiums under a competitive ACC system, is nonsense, and showed how grossly ignorant she is on ACC issues, National's ACC spokesman Gerry Brownlee said today.

"The evidence is all around her. The fact for instance that @Work Ltd can make a profit of over $5 million by insuring just eight percent of the market, as the so called "default insurer" for employers who did not bother to shop around, means that other insurers will be faring even better.

"If the default insurer can make it work and make a profit, through an emphasis on accident prevention and rehabilitation, then the system is really working, and all Helen Clark's "loss leading "arguments, used before the election, are blown out of the water.

"Any trained economist or accountant will tell you that this sort of healthy competition will see premiums continue to decline.

"Clark needs to acknowledge a few facts: * Workplace accidents have dropped; * Premiums are cheaper for most businesses; * Business does not want a change back to the old, re-nationalised ACC; * There is no compelling reason for such a change, with workers accident cover remaining the same as ever.

"Instead, she is forcing these changes through for purely ideological reasons. The Government's stance on ACC is in danger of making them a laughing stock, as submissions pile up at the select committee against the change, and evidence continues to show that we are all better off under the current scheme," Mr Brownlee said

Ends

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