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ACC No-Refund Decision Is Theft

The government's refusal to refund up to 100,000 self-employed New Zealanders who were over-charged for their ACC premiums last year, is nothing short of institutionalised theft, says ACT deputy leader Ken Shirley.

"Earlier this year, Dr Cullen gave an assurance that these 'anomalies' would be corrected but now ACC Minister Lianne Dalziel is openly reneging on that undertaking and offering no relief whatsoever.

"We know that 30 percent of the 300,000 listed as self-employed are affected, including all self-employed people who earned more in 2000 than in 1999. Limiting the repayment to those who were over-charged more than $100 would have cost $16 million and the government says even this is too expensive.

"Somehow, morality has gone out the window as the government acknowledges that these people were over-charged. This is probably the worst example of a government monopoly abusing its powers.

"If the competitive private insurance market was still operating, this disgraceful act would not occur. There's no way an insurer operating in a competitive market could openly overcharge and then tell the customer: 'too bad, it's too expensive for me to pay you back the money I stole from you'. The insurer would go out of business in no time.

"All New Zealanders should be outraged by this government's decision," Mr Shirley said.


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