Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Nick Smith’s shambolic handling of ACC continues

Hon David Parker

ACC Spokesperson

14 October 2009 Media Statement

Nick Smith’s shambolic handling of ACC continues

The Government’s failure to secure political support for legislation which will cut ACC entitlements and burden Kiwi families is further evidence of Nick Smith’s shambolic handling of the ACC portfolio, says ACC spokesperson David Parker.

“The Minister’s failure to secure that support before announcing the proposed changes – and releasing details of the draft legislation to journalists – is highly embarrassing and raises further questions about his grip on the portfolio.

“He’s dedicated the past week to irresponsible scaremongering on ACC, in order to try to gain public support for excessive changes to the scheme, without bothering to ensure he can even pass the legislation,” David Parker says.

“Compounding his embarrassment, he’s had to apologise in the House today for offending the families of suicide victims, with intemperate remarks he made yesterday suggesting ACC entitlements for the children of people who commit suicide encouraged suicides. He’s provided no evidence this is the case.

“Labour support changes in the legislation to push out the date for fully-funding the scheme, and I have a Member’s Bill in the ballot which it can use to achieve this and reduce levy rate increases,” David Parker says.

“Labour doesn’t however support the cuts to entitlements, which are also included in Nick Smith’s Bill. It also opposes other discriminatory aspects of the Bill, which will also anger the public and are clearly ill-considered.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“The Government’s Bill allows higher charges for older cars, whose owners would pay more than those can afford new cars, which most households can’t.

“I’m also alarmed to hear today that ACC is moving to close down injury prevention programmes for the elderly. This makes no sense at all. “

“Falls by the elderly are one of the fastest growing sources of ACC claims and one of the top ten causes of hospital admissions. Yet the Otago Exercise and Fall Prevention programme has been advised today its ACC funding will be cancelled and the Minister confirmed similar cuts to other programmes are likely.”

“Labour agrees some costs need reining in and supported the move to reduce physiotherapy costs. While ACC's rehabilitation rates remain better than Australia's, they have slipped. Labour initiated a number of steps while in Government to improve those rates and supports on-going efforts in this area,” David Parker said.


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.