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ACC changes welcomed by tourism industry

ACC changes welcomed by tourism industry

The government’s decision not to increase employer ACC levies next year to the same extent as 2010 will be welcomed by the country’s valuable tourism industry, which is still contending with some of the most difficult trading conditions on record, say industry leaders.

Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) Policy & Research Manager Simon Wallace says levy rates will remain the same for most tourism operators, with the exception of the accommodation sector who will have a small increase.

“Tourism businesses were particularly hard hit by substantial ACC levy increases this year, and TIA had lobbied the government hard to hold 2011 rates to current levels. Our members will be very pleased the government has taken our submission seriously, and that ACC Minister Nick Smith has acknowledged the fragile state of the economic recovery.

“We also welcome the government’s decision to extend the experience rating system, in particular the no-claims discount bonus for small businesses. This will benefit the many operators in our industry who have good health and safety practices in their workplace.”

TIA has developed a much closer relationship with ACC over the past year, says Mr Wallace, who adds this stronger engagement is benefitting both the corporation and the tourism industry, with improved understanding on both sides.

“We look forward to talking with ACC around the introduction of a more open and competitive workplace insurance marketplace.”

The ski sector, hit by a huge 80% levy rate increase in 2010, will get a small decrease next year.

“While it still doesn’t make up for the big hike, we are feeling a lot better than we were 12 months ago,” says Ski Areas Association New Zealand Executive Director Miles Davidson.

“We are also pleased with the potential introduction of experience rating, and the recent announcements by the Minister around looking at other workplace insurance options.”

The accommodation sector also had significant levy increases in the 2010 year and will face another increase next year.

“While any increase is difficult for businesses to absorb, hotels are pleased the levy increases have been minimised for 2011,” says New Zealand Hotel Council Independent Chair Jennie Langley.

ENDS

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