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ACC Will Provide For Self-Employed

21 March 2000

PR18/2000

ACC WILL PROVIDE FOR SELF-EMPLOYED

Federated Farmers has achieved a significant agreement, with the Government promising that it will ensure that ACC will adequately provide for self-employed people.

"While some problems still remain with the exact wording to the proposed changes to the ACC Bill currently being debated by Parliament, the federation is satisfied with the written assurances provided to it by the Minister for Accident Insurance, Dr Michael Cullen," said Federated Farmers President Alistair Polson today.

Changes to the present ACC Bill will ensure that a self-employed person can pre-arrange a nominated level of earnings with the ACC, upon which they will pay premiums and receive compensation if unable to work because of an accident.

"The Government must ensure that ACC delivers Federated Farmers' demands for those self-employed people who prearrange a nominated level of earnings. The Government must further ensure that ACC will not apply the "loss of earnings" formula that disenfranchised the self-employed in the past," said Mr Polson.

"Federated Farmers has also been guaranteed by the Minister that further changes will be enacted via the second ACC Bill, to be introduced later this year. These changes will detail that all self-employed people will receive guaranteed compensation based on the earnings upon which they pay ACC premiums."

"While Federated Farmers remains concerned with the Government's removal of farmer's choice in accident compensation, the federation is pleased that the Coalition Government and the Green Party have listened with regard to the needs of the self-employed. For the first time, the self-employed should be able to get a fair and equitable deal from the ACC."

"It is tragic, however, that the pressures on ACC to innovate and improve, due to private sector competition, will be lost when New Zealand returns to a ACC monopoly."

"Federated Farmers will be carefully monitoring ACC's performance to ensure they provide the self-employed with the required service, and that the Coalition Government delivers on its promises," concluded Mr Polson.

ENDS For further information: Alistair Polson 06-342-2853 or 025-370-085 Gavin Forrest 03-366-8415 or 03-338-2900


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