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Govt Misleading Sheep And Beef Farmers

National's Agriculture Spokesman Gavan Herlihy says that for sheep and beef farmers the claimed benefits by ACC Minister Michael Cullen of planned ACC premium cuts are totally misleading and illusionary.

"Last week sheep and beef farmers received invoices for ACC Workplace Cover, providing cover for employees' workplace accidents at a rate of $2.28 per $100 of wages paid.

"Its little wonder farmers were outraged at the renationalisation of ACC, as the majority were paying only $1.69 per $100 under the deal offered by Farmers Mutual Group prior to 1 July 2000.

"Even if premiums are dropped by 20% in March next year, as promised by Dr Cullen, farmers who had not made any claims in the past three years will still be paying 7.7% more than they were paying a year ago.

"Its scurrilously misleading for Dr Cullen to be crowing about the much-heralded decrease when in actual fact sheep and beef farmers will still be paying more under the State monopoly than they were last year.

"The Government's actions in re-establishing a bureaucratic State monopoly and outlawing the farmer-owned company from offering accident cover have meant that farmers are now denied the cheapest price for accident insurance," Mr Herlihy said.


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