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Taxpayers can’t afford ACC’s political propaganda

5 November 2009
Media Statement

Taxpayers can’t afford to pay for ACC’s political propaganda

Taxpayer money is being scandalously wasted on newspaper ads that don't tell the real story about the reasons behind huge ACC fee rises, Labour’s ACC spokesperson David Parker says.

“The large display ads in major dailies today claims ‘motorcyclists weren’t paying enough’. The National Government should apologise for implying paying more is a matter of principle.

“ACC’s statement shows scandalous indifference to the cost of living. It’s arrogant and out of touch. Even if ACC thought fees had to rise, suggesting that motorcyclists don’t pay ‘enough’ shows the Government's agenda is to punish motorcycle owners. It shows the Government is wildly out of touch with the reality of stretched family budgets.

David Parker is calling on the Government to disclose the cost of the propaganda.
“ACC is paying out large sums of levy-payers’ money to promote an unpopular political decision which the Government is ostensibly still consulting the public on.

“The Government made the decision to change the way motorcycle levies are set and ACC is now trying to help sell it, instead of keeping to ACC’s founding principles.

“Wasting money on newspaper ads shows the National Government has its priorities wrong. It is developing a bad habit of using taxpayers’ money for its own advertising and propaganda.

“ACC and its minister have been claiming that the fee rise for motorcyclists is not decided yet, and it is going through a consultation. But these ads show it’s all a sham consultation and the outcome is already decided.

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David Parker says the claims in the advertisement are political and misrepresent the purpose of the ACC scheme - and drew up a list of alternative answers to the fake ‘questions’ in the ad.

Straight answers to ACC’s proposed motorcycle levies
Why are motorcyclists being singled out?
What other groups will be unfairly targeted next? Cyclists? Drivers of older cars? Pedestrians? Older people who fall over in their homes more often than young people? Children playing sports?

All of these groups have accidents. Why is the Government targeting one section of the public - motorcyclists - and who is next?

Why are motorcyclists being asked to pay more?
Because the National Government is abandoning the idea of a no-fault accident compensation scheme to set it up for privatisation, which will benefit big foreign owned insurance companies.

If motorcyclists weren’t paying enough, who’s been covering their costs?
In a social insurance scheme, we all pay a share of the costs of accidents, so that we are all covered. If ACC introduces user pays for groups it claims face higher risks, then next on the list will be elderly New Zealanders who hurt themselves in falls, and people playing sport.

ACC has $12 billion in reserves. Last year New Zealanders paid in a billion dollars more than ACC paid out in claims. ACC is not broke!

But motorcyclists say the crashes aren’t their fault.
But that’s not the point. ACC wants to punish motorcyclists for their lifestyle. That’s why it says ‘motorcyclists weren’t paying enough.’

How much more at risk are motorcyclists?
Motorcyclists are at very high risk of continued steep fee rises because the consultation is a sham. The Government’s already made up its mind.

How do the proposed ACC levies compare to the cost of insuring the actual bike?
That’s got nothing to do with it. Car owners don’t pay more in ACC for insuring more expensive cars. The cost of insuring the bike is about as relevant as the cost of buying a new exhaust system for it. The issue is not about the bike - it is about the fairness of a social insurance scheme. By the way, if private insurance companies charge $750 to insure a bike worth $15,000, and the Government plans to charge the same amount to cover an injury worth potentially millions, how much more do you think you will pay in levies when private insurers get their hands on the scheme? Privatisation will see New Zealanders left paying more for less to pay the bills of lawyers and foreign-owned corporates and to cover much higher administration costs

Do the figures include off-road motorcycle claims?
Assuming the ACC is right, not yet. But as soon as the government can work out a way to hurt this group too, they will.
Why do motorcyclists pay over and over again if they own more than one bike?
There is reason for imposing a levy for each bike, but there is no reason for charging exorbitant levies which will force owners of several bikes to head to their bank managers. ACC’s real motive is to punish motorcyclists for their lifestyle.

How to make a submission
Not much point really. The National Government has already made up its mind. If you want to change the policy, go to and help Labour stop National’s ACC rip-off.


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