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Labour ACC Policy Anti-Business


1 July 1999

Labour ACC Policy Anti-Business

Treasurer Bill English said Labour was showing its true colours with its determination to move backwards on ACC.

"Labour is following its anti-business instincts with its ACC policy. Labour appears to want less safety for workers and it wants employers to hand back the savings they will make from the recent changes. Over the next two years employers will save $500 million from the ACC changes which take effect from today, which is equivalent to 2c coming off the corporate tax rate.

"At a time when Labour is telling the business community that it won't change anything, it goes ahead and confirms that it would reverse the ACC changes. This is a significant step backwards and shows that all Labour's soothing talk to the business community means nothing.

"What must be of even greater concern, however, is the risk to safer workplaces if these changes are reversed. Estimates are that work-related injuries cost this country $16.5 million every day. That's a massive waste to businesses in lost production, training, and the loss of goodwill and staff morale.

"But beyond measure is the cost to New Zealanders and their families in lost lives, lost livelihoods and lost quality of life. Employers now have real incentives to make their workplaces safer and that means saving Kiwi lives. It is hard to imagine quite why Labour would want to reverse this," said Mr English.


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