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Farmers Acc Concerns Recognised

22 February

PR12/2000

FARMERS ACC CONCERNS RECOGNISED

Federated Farmers of New Zealand is pleased to see that the Government has listened to farmers concerns on proposed changes to ACC" President Alistair Polson said today.

"The federation put a strong case to the select committee which showed that the self-employed were badly served by the old ACC scheme.

"Too frequently farmers, like other self employed, were left in a disastrous financial position after accidents and forced to return to work too early with consequent strain on families" Mr Polson said.

"Privatisation is delivering farmers surety that they will receive income replacement in the event of an accident.

"Under the old ACC, farmers were forced to purchase top up insurance, in addition to their ACC payments, if they wanted income protection.

"It is imperative that the Accident Insurance (Transitional Provisions) Bill is amended to explicitly meet the needs of the self-employed before it goes any further. Should the Bill proceed, Federated Farmers of New Zealand will be looking to see that recent assurances given by Dr Cullen to Federated Farmers will be converted to reality" Alistair Polson said.

" Federated Farmers of New Zealand still want the self-employed to be able to opt out of ACC if there is a return to monopoly provision.

"In addition to the provision of guaranteed replacement income for the self-employed, if we return to a monopoly, ACC must be run on a fully funded basis. ACC must be subjected to an external audit from independent actuaries to ensure that they do not underfund the scheme and build up debts."

"We have offered to work with the Minister for Accident Insurance and officials to get the best result for all farmers and self-employed" said Mr Polson.

ENDS

For further information: Alistair Polson 025-370-085 or 04-473-7269 Gavin Forrest 03-366-8415




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