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Greens shocked by Government about face on ACC

4 July 2001

Greens shocked by Government about face on ACC refunds

Green Party ACC Spokesperson Sue Bradford today called on the Government to reverse its sudden decision to renege on its offer of ACC premium refunds to self-employed people who where overcharged last year.

"We are shocked by the turn-around made by Finance Minister Michael Cullen who promised he would correct the anomaly and refund self-employed people for the overcharging", said Green Party MP Sue Bradford.

Up to 100,000 self-employed people were overcharged last year when ACC switched from "charging in areas' to 'billing in advance'. Finance Minister Michael Cullen asked the Department of Labour and ACC to suggest solutions to help those worst affected, including a possible refund, but ACC Minister Lianne Dalziel said yesterday that the Government would not grant them any relief.

"I am horrified that the Government is refusing to give the money back," said Ms Bradford. "It is not the Government's money or ACC's money, it is the money of the self-employed."

Most of the people have been overcharged between $200 and $1500.

"They were charged for reasons beyond their control. That amount of money does not perhaps mean anything for the Government, but the difference between $200 and $1500 for some people is the difference between the survival and failure of their business," she said.

"The Green Party asks the Government to keep the promise and refund overcharged self-employed", she said.

ENDS

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