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ACC Changes – Govt MPs Must Front Up To Voters

8 February 2000

ACC changes – Govt MPs must front up to voters

The Leader of the Opposition today challenged Labour and Alliance MPs to front up to their electorates and explain why they are imposing big ACC costs on their communities.

“The minority Government is determined to return to an ACC monopoly, and they can’t explain why.

“They had a chance in Parliament today to come up with an explanation – but still nothing,” Leader of the Opposition Jenny Shipley said today.

“The Government’s policy will cost almost every local authority in the country and ratepayers will pay the bill. Businesses large and small will be hit, as will charity and church groups.

“How can “Minister for Auckland” Judith Tizard defend taking away the estimated 50 per cent savings from the Auckland City Council? And what about the 50 per cent cost savings by the Auckland Regional Council?

“Hastings MP Rick Barker has to explain to ratepayers and voters why he refuses to let his local councils cut costs. It’s estimated the Hasting District Council saves 70 per cent on its premiums, and the Hawkes Bay Regional Council saves more than 50 per cent.

“New Plymouth MP Harry Duynhoven and West Coast MP Damien O’Conner have to face the humiliation of fronting up yet again to tell their local councils and businesses they support dumping more costs on them through ACC Bills.

“In Christchurch, Clayton Cosgrove and Lianne Dalziel are effectively imposing a million dollars of extra costs on councils and ratepayers –and that’s just the local government bill.

“I ask all these MPs, is it worth the pain for their communities to slam big ACC costs back on them for no real reason?

“The longer the new Government refuses to listen to what is real and reasoned opposition to its idea the more difficult it will be for its MPs to face their communities and explain the policy away.”

Ends

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