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Adams: ACC stings farmers while counting the cash

Thursday, 12 August, 2004

Adams: ACC stings farmers while counting the cash

Farmers have faced a 74 percent hike in their ACC levies in the past three years, as the monopolistic ACC is expected to return an $850 million surplus this year, United Future's Paul Adams revealed in Parliament today.

"And the levies bear no relation to the level of responsibility shown by farmers," he said in tackling ACC Minister Ruth Dyson.

"Even the 10,000 who have completed FarmSafe courses and gone back to their farms with better, safer work practices, still get stung for the full, extortionate rate."

Mr Adams said that a MAF survey of farmers revealed that ACC levies are the biggest single compliance cost they face.

"Many farmers believe they could obtain private insurance cover for about half the cost of their ACC premium and they should be able to - particularly when we see ACC coining it hand-over-fist," United Future's ACC spokesman said.

The issue goes beyond farming, Mr Adams said, taking Ms Dyson to task for not having a levy discount programme in place for small business in general, while extending discounts to medium-sized and larger employers.

"The Government clearly needs reminding that 90 percent of all businesses in New Zealand are small businesses," he said.


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