Cabinet line-up means ACC rethink?
The Labour caucus' decision not to elect to cabinet their ACC spokesman and former president is a strong sign that the caucus believes renationalising ACC is a silly policy, according to ACT Leader Richard Prebble
"Ruth Dyson who on election night won the Banks Peninsula seat, on paper looked a cert for the Cabinet. Clearly the caucus is nervous of her strong ideological commitment to renationalising ACC without compensation. I understand Labour members have been bombarded by small businesses indicating their opposition to Dyson's plan which would increase ACC premiums of most businesses significantly.
"Her failure to make the cabinet means that the Clark cabinet has fewer South Island Ministers than the outgoing National cabinet, and is the lowest representation for the South Island in a Labour cabinet since the war.
"The other extraordinary decision was to promote only one Maori to the cabinet. Both the Lange and the Kirk cabinets had two Maori Ministers, yet this caucus has 10 Maori members but obviously believes only one of them deserves to be in cabinet.
"The Labour caucus has given the Alliance four Ministers when their vote on election night entitles them to only three.
"The losers from this compromise have been Labour's South Island MPs like Ruth Dyson, Mark Peck and Damien O'Connor, and Maori MPs like Nanaia Mahuta.
"While no doubt Helen Clark will be rewarding these MPs with positions outside cabinet, it's the seat around the cabinet table that matters."