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What is National’s real ACC policy?

Hon Maryan Street
Minister for ACC

1 September 2008 Media Statement
What is National’s real ACC policy?

“In July John Key told Radio New Zealand’s Checkpoint programme that the party would undertake a stocktake of all the ACC accounts, which could see the Motor Vehicle and Earner’s accounts privatised.

“But at today’s ACC Futures seminar in Wellington National disability spokesman Paul Hutchison said ‘the National Party is investigating opening up only the Work Account for competition’,” Maryan Street said.

”While it contradicts what Mr Key said, today’s comments are also in line with those made by senior National MP Murray McCully after Mr Key’s statement. Mr McCully said there would be challenges with privatising the Earners and Motor Vehicle accounts. “Which is why the National Party policy doesn’t go there.”

“Privatising three, rather than one account, may not sound like a big difference – but the ramifications are in fact huge. The more accounts that are privatised, the greater the legal battles over which insurer should pay medical costs and compensation. There will be lengthy delays and endless confusion with injured New Zealanders left stuck waiting to see who, if anyone, will pay.

“If people have to take out private insurance to cover themselves for road injuries and those on the sports field and at home – which is what happens in Australia, many New Zealanders will end up without injury cover,” Maryan Street said.

“It is low income and vulnerable New Zealanders who will be left out in the cold if these accounts are privatised and that is unacceptable.

“Weekend sports clubs and other organisations would probably end up having to pay injury insurance as they do in Australia, where recent increases in insurance premiums have had an adverse effect on recreation. Labour also thinks this is unacceptable.

“National is continuing to tell different stories to different audiences in a deliberate attempt to obfuscate on its ACC policy - because it knows New Zealanders like ACC the way it is. It’s deceitful and National shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.”


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