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Government Resumes Political Meddling In ACC

MEDIA RELEASE
22 February 2000

GOVERNMENT RESUMES POLITICAL MEDDLING IN ACC

The announcement by the Government today that it is doing political deals over the accident insurance market should be a signal of real troubles ahead if ACC is re-nationalised, says the Insurance Council.

The Government's announcement it will allow self-employed to choose the levels of cover they require is a concession to farmers and Greens.

The Government is under intense pressure from the Green Party to water-down some aspects of the Accident Insurance (Transitional Provisions) Bill to ensure Green support for its passing.

The political interference from the Government re-confirms that under an ACC state monopoly, a "policy on the run" will be created for political ends and "political meddling" will again become the norm.

The announcement effectively means the politicians are now competing directly with insurers for customers and is, at the same time, undermining its own agency the ACC's pricing policies.

The announcement which provides direct advantages to self-employed and disadvantages workers who will not have the same choice of cover, means the Government has also undermined Unions who were one of the very few groups who made submissions in support of the Bill.

The Insurance Council has congratulated Federated Farmers on their initiative in driving some concessions from the Government and noted that Federated Farmers remains strongly opposed to the legislation overall. However today's sign that the Government will do anything to pass the legislation means that the era of ACC trying to deliver safety for the workforce amid a hail of political directives and interference are about to resume.

The Insurance Council is calling on last minute attempts by all business groups in New Zealand to recognise the signals being sent by the Government today and formally state their opposition to the renationalisation of the ACC.


ENDS

For further information, please contact:
Christopher Ryan, Chief Executive, Tel (04) 472 5230, DDI (04) 495 8001, Hm, (04) 475 9446, Mobile, (025) 441 767

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