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World leading ACC scheme needs protecting

CTU MEDIA RELEASE

17 June 2008

World leading ACC scheme needs protecting, not dumping

The Council of Trade Unions said today that the case to retain ACC as a monopoly provider of workplace accident cover was clear, and called on political parties who support increased "choice" in workplace cover to explain why.

The CTU is tonight hosting the launch of a new book on the ACC scheme by health and safety lawyer Hazel Armstrong setting out why the scheme was set up, the benefits it brings to the country and the case against privatisation.

"ACC is a world leader and brings both economic benefits and social benefits to the country, as evidenced in the recent PriceWaterHouseCoopers report on the scheme. The case to retain this core asset is now clear."

"Last week we asked the National Party to explain their stance on ACC, after reported comments from their spokesperson that they were committed to choice in accident compensation."

"When National last promoted so-called choice in accident compensation cover it was a disaster. One of the providers, a subsidiary of HIH Insurance, had up to 40 percent of workplace cover, yet HIH went into liquidation with losses of around $1 billion. Fortunately, the Government had by then changed ACC back to public provision".

Richard Wagstaff said that the scheme could be further strengthened by amendments to ACC law, due back before Parliament today, increasing cover to workers affected by exposure to a sudden traumatic event at work. He challenged parties who opposed the law change to front up to workers such as the train driver who appeared before select committee last month, and explain why they wouldn't support these new provisions.


ENDS

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