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ACC Bungling Confirms Worst Fears

Monday 14th Aug 2000
Ken Shirley
Media Release -- Economy

The Government’s ham-fisted tampering with accident insurance has resulted in the worst fears of employers being realised, ACT Deputy Leader and Accident Insurance Spokesman Ken Shirley said today. He was commenting on a front page report in the New Zealand Herald, which said that six weeks after law changes restored the Accident Compensation Commission’s monopoly and forced employers to cancel private accident insurance, groups as diverse as childcare centres, farmers and electrical contractors, had been hit with increases up to 56 per cent higher than what they had been paying. “Act warned Finance Minister Michael Cullen repeatedly about the consequences of his ridiculous decision to turn back the clock on ACC,” Mr Shirley said. “Instead he chose to totally ignore evidence that showed a competitive market had resulted in a 40 per cent reduction in accidents and claims, a 50 per cent reduction in workplace fatality claims and a 50 per cent improvement in rehabilitation returns, and an 85 per cent reduction in disputes.” Mr Shirley said latest reports had finally made a mockery of Dr Cullen’s claim that everything would be “rosy” with the re-introduction of ideas promoted by the “loony left.” “Employer’s worst fears have been confirmed with some medium-sized organisations pointing out that they are facing increased accident insurance premiums of between $5,000 and $10,000 a year because of this Government’s bungling. “Having arrogantly refused to listen to the pleas of the business community on the ACC debate, Dr Cullen and his leftist colleagues are ready to deliver a double whammy with the introduction of one of the most shambolic pieces of legislation ever seen in New Zealand – the Employment Relations Bill,” Mr Shirley said.


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