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Cullen Opens Floodgates For Mental Injury Payouts

Cullen Opens Floodgates For Mental Injury ACC Payouts

"The ACC Minister's claims employers won't pay more for his new lump sum scheme are laughable," National ACC spokesperson Gerry Brownlee said today.

"Dr Cullen has opened the floodgates for lump sum payouts under the category "mental injury". It is not credible for him to say the policy will only cost $60million a year and ACC levies won't increase.

"This is another bonanza for lawyers with all manner of outrageous and inventive reasons being accepted for lump sum payments and Dr Cullen knows it.

"Just four months ago he ruled out lump sums for mental injury because of the high costs. His backtrack today is a win for the Alliance and will be alarming for business.

"Almost any injury is now likely to receive a lump sum for the injury and another for the mental injury.

"Under the scheme announced today someone could get a $5,000 pay out for losing a finger and $100,000 for the mental injury.

"Just like the matrimonial property changes this is a paradise for the litigious.

"We will need a great deal of convincing that the Independence Allowance should be scrapped.

"Under this Bill a person losing sight in both eyes would received $85,000 for their injury and probably a similar amount for the mental injury that results, but is left to fend for themselves for the rest of their lives.

"The Independence Allowance was a commitment to ongoing support. What long-term support arrangements are going to be available now?" Mr Brownlee said.


Inquiries: Gerry Brownlee 04 4719 899 or 025 983 506


Anna Hughes

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