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Cullen looking at help for self employed over ACC

14 February 2001 Media Statement

Cullen looking at help for self employed over ACC overpayments

Minister for Accident Insurance Michael Cullen today acknowledged the plight of some self employed people who have had to pay excess ACC payments because of an anomaly in the current law.

"I have instructed the Department of Labour and ACC to come back to me with solutions to help people who have suffered badly as a result of earning significantly less last year than they did the year before.

"The problem has arisen because March 2000 year levies were calculated on the previous year's earnings.

"I want to deal fairly with people who have suffered significantly over a certain level. I know there are cases where a self employed person's income has dropped from say $50,000 to as low as $5000 and yet they have had to pay their premiums based on their last year's earnings.

"However I want to stress that although 30 percent of the self employed are paying more, the remaining 70 percent are paying less and I certainly have heard no clamour from them.

"I am hopeful that in the future we can make changes to the new Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation Bill that will overcome the impacts of the inevitably variable income of the self employed.

"I also strongly recommend that people in this position have a good look at ACC's new package especially for the self employed called CoverPlus Extra, whereby people can nominate a pre-agreed amount of compensation and premium payments," said Dr Cullen.

ENDS

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