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ACC: National continues to tell different stories

Hon David Parker

ACC Spokesperson

20 October 2009 Media Statement

National continues to tell different stories on ACC

National is continuing to mislead the public about its ACC legislation in an attempt to justify cuts to entitlements which will hurt hard-working Kiwi families, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson David Parker.

“Nick Smith’s ACC legislation bundles up pushing out the date to fully-fund the ACC scheme with entitlement cuts. Labour supports pushing out the full-funding date, but not major cuts to entitlements.

“The reality is that pushing out the full-funding date will enable the Government to prevent massive hikes in motor vehicle levies without the cuts, but it is refusing to come clean on this and say how much of the reduction in levy increases is due to the date change.

“John Key told the House today that the date change was “only a small part of the answer”. Yet Nick Smith, while refusing to disclose any figures for the second day in a row, admitted it accounted for “a significant amount of the reduction” in the motor vehicle levy,” David Parker says.

“Both can’t be right. The briefing for the Incoming Minister showed $83.70 of the car levy increase recommended by ACC could be avoided by the date change but the proposed rates have since changed.

“Mr Key also misrepresented a letter sent to him by Labour Leader Phil Goff offering Labour support for the date change. Mr Key claimed in the letter Phil Goff had “himself finally acknowledged that there were very serious problems facing the ACC Scheme”.

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“That is wrong. The letter was subsequently tabled in the House so the public can judge the accuracy of John Key’s claims themselves,” David Parker says.

“This Government has repeatedly scaremongered on ACC and recent days have only confirmed that its drive to strip back entitlements for hard-working New Zealanders and privatise ACC is behind it all.

“Both moves are designed to remove protections for workers. Kiwis will simply pay more for less.

“Nick Smith said last week that the legislative changes he wanted introduced would provide a "one-off substantive fix" and that only "'tinkering" would be required in the future. This week we learn he’s considering secret plans to charge claimants $100 per injury and to drastically reduce income compensation from 80 percent to 60 per cent, which would reduce employer levies at the cost of less cover for workers.”



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