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Farmers Seek Answers On ACC

15 December 2004 PR 228/04

Farmers Seek Answers On ACC

Federated Farmers of New Zealand has sought an urgent meeting with ACC Minister Ruth Dyson over the total failure of the corporation's consultation process leading up to the setting of its 2005/6 levies.

"Federated Farmers needs to make the minister aware that ACC is not carrying out its responsibilities to consult to an acceptable level. We want to pass on our grave concerns of a shameful consultation process," said Charlie Pedersen, Vice President of Federated Farmers.

His comments follow ACC saying it planned to increase the "work" premium for self-employed farmers by 30 percent in 2005/6. That and other increases will add $16 million to farmers' ACC levy costs in the next financial year.

"What really rubs is that ACC said in August it proposed to increase the work premium -- to cover accidents at work -- by 11 percent. That was bad enough but after a supposed consultation process the increase nearly tripled. What's going on?

"The huge disparity between the proposed and actual levy raises several questions we want to put to the minister. They include asking how ACC got it so wrong in August, what happened during the consultation period that bumped up the levy by so much, and what is the point in consulting at all if the indicative figures change so greatly?

"Which figure is correct -- the one in August or the one in December? They can't both be right. Perhaps they are both wrong?" Mr Pedersen said.

ENDS

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