CTU MEDIA RELEASE
03 July 2008
Competition in ACC removes choice for everyone
The Council of Trade Unions is today asking National to explain how their plan for ‘choice’ in accident compensation could benefit anyone in New Zealand.
“Workers don’t want ACC to be opened up to competition, a move which will take away choice, not give it,” CTU president Helen Kelly said.
“In Australia, workers pay on average $2 in every $100 towards their worker compensation scheme.”
“In New Zealand, under ACC, it is 78 cents per $100 – and this is for better cover, higher benefits and quicker access, lower claim management and administration rates, and kiwi workers return to work faster than their Australian counterparts.”
“Employers too would lose. Private schemes would be more costly than the not-for-profit government monopoly in areas like administration, marketing and the profit requirement, meaning higher premiums for business.”
“But National’s proposals wouldn’t just be felt in the workplace. ACC provides comprehensive no fault cover to a wide range of New Zealanders who would be required to buy private cover but for the scheme."
“Sports groups, schools, parents at home, older people and high risk industries like adventure tourism would all stand to lose under a competitive model of accident cover.”
“If the scheme is privatised, then the profits for Australian insurance companies will have to come from somewhere. We all know this will come out of the pockets of kiwi workers and employers, and the wider public, through higher levies.”
“This is a hard pill to swallow in the name of choice,” Helen Kelly said.