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Workplace Accidents Increase Under Labour

Thursday 4 Jul 2002

ACT ACC Spokesman Ken Shirley said appalling workplace accident figures show that the Government's excessive regulatory approach is not working.

"Labour promised that a return to state-controlled ACC would reduce the number of accidents. In fact, the reverse has happened. Seventy-three workers have been killed in the year to June 2002.

"The cause is Labour's ideological-based move to give the state-owned ACC a complete monopoly.

"After ACT successfully prodded the National-led Government to remove the ACC monopoly in 1999, accidents decreased by forty percent, average premiums reduced from $1.70 per $100 to $1.20 per $100, and the number of claimants who could return to work within three months increased substantially.

"Despite all this evidence, the Labour/Alliance government introduced legislation in the first parliamentary session to return workplace accident insurance to the state monopoly.

"Over 1,000 submissions were lodged with the parliamentary select committee - 85 percent opposed re-nationalisation.

"ACC's regulations are extraordinarily tough. The state-run monopoly creates endless bureaucratic delay. In a large number of cases ACC does not accept liability, or pays out less than expected unless the consumer makes a fuss. Far too often, ordinary claimants feel thwarted rather than supported by ACC.

"Labour's ideological stance has resulted in more workplace accidents and deaths. ACT favours the abolition of the Accident Compensation Corporation, with accident insurance placed in the hands of private insurers. We will allow the introduction of innovative and flexible programmes which better meet the needs of specific industries, and have proven to lead to safer workplaces with fewer accidents and fewer fatalities," Mr Shirley said.


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