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FFNZ: Minister Poorly Advised By ACC

The self-employed are not to blame for ACC’s proposal to increase their premium rates, says Federated Farmers of NZ (Inc) President Alistair Polson.

"The 40% - 45% premium increase for the farming community has been blamed on an increase in injury rate by the Minister of ACC," said Mr Polson. "The Minister has been poorly advised, the facts are very different. ACC’s own statistics show last year (2000/2001) the injury rate in agriculture fell by 5% and that rates have fallen by 30% over the last 4 years.

"However, more needs to be done to bring farm injury rates down and Federated Farmers is working very closely with ACC on a range of injury prevention initiatives.

"The reason ACC is increasing premium rates for farmers is due at least to three main factors - none of which is the injury rate. Firstly, due to the hard work of Federated Farmers, ACC is now required to provide injured self-employed farmers with decent weekly compensation and the cost of claims has risen as a result, ACC is clawing back three years of deficits created by an error in past premium calculations, and ACC has added a extra prudential margin on the premiums.

"Federated Farmers is very pleased with the significant progress made with respect to improved cover for the self-employed and with the excellent work in this regard by the current Minister and her predecessors, Hon Michael Cullen and Hon Ruth Dyson.

"While the Federation continues to work with ACC we believe that accident compensation should be returned to competitive provision as soon as possible, Mr Polson concluded.

ENDS




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