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ACC Reforms Deliver Huge Savings For Education

MEDIA RELEASE

24 JUNE 1999

Education Minister Nick Smith today announced huge savings for education from the Government's ACC reforms that allow choice in the provision of workers' accident insurance.

"The savings are startling. Last year the ACC levy for schools and the Ministry of Education was $25.4 million. A contract has been concluded with MMI General Insurance (N.Z.) Limited for $5.8 million. There will be a further cost of $9 million to cover the cost of the residual tail from ACC, and a further $2.25 million for health and safety audits. The net saving to the education sector is $8.2 million per year."

Key stakeholders from the school sector were involved in the selection process including The New Zealand School Trustees Association, PPTA, NZEI, New Zealand Food and Service Workers Union, New Zealand Principals' Federation, New Zealand Secondary Schools Executive Officers' Association and Self Managed Payroll Schools.

"Choice in ACC is not just benefiting New Zealand businesses, but our social services. The saving equates to an additional 150 teachers, early childhood education places for 7,500 pre-schoolers or an additional 3,000 computers in schools. Decisions are yet to be made about how the savings will be reinvested in education, but children will be the winners. Why the Labour Alliance bloc wants to scrap choice in ACC has me flummoxed."

Mr Smith said the savings were possible with a far greater focus on reducing accidents, safety audits and training, and the more effective management of the rehabilitation of injured employees.

"The school sector has historically had a low accident rate and the new policy ensures the sector gets the benefit of its good safety record." ENDS

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