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Scaremongering on ACC exposed again

1 December 2009
Media Statement

Scaremongering on ACC exposed again

While ACC levy increases will be hard on people’s pockets, they won’t be as steep as the figures the Government is continuing to use to scaremonger the public into accepting changes to ACC, says ACC spokesperson David Parker.

“The levy figures advertised by ACC today do not reflect the actual levy increases which will come into effect next year as a result of the Government’s decision, supported by Labour, to push out the date for fully-funding the scheme.

“This means the levy increases will be lower than advertised. ACC knows that and the Government knows that, yet it seems clear the Government has made a deliberate decision not to present the actual rates which would be set,” David Parker says.

“This is further evidence of the Government's agenda to misrepresent ACC’s position so as to soften up the public for major cuts to ACC entitlements and privatisation.

“ACC currently has its highest ever reserves (over $11 billion) and took in $1 billion more than it spent on claims last year. It is not fundamentally broken and the dismantling of the scheme will only see New Zealanders pay more for less.

“The reality is that the vast bulk of the levy increases the public will experience next year – 90 per cent of the increases according to the NZ Herald today – are a result of accounting changes and a much more conservative assessment of future liabilities,” David Parker says.

“Even Business New Zealand has criticised the risk margins ACC has imposed in this year’s levy setting, telling Parliament’s Transport and Industrial Relations select committee in a submission last week they are excessively high.

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“The real reason for this is clear – the Government will take in more than ACC needs to frighten the public into accepting there’s a case for privatisation.

“It will use the promise of lower levies to try to win public support for privatisation. As the Employers and Manufacturers Union has suggested, this would only be temporary. Once private insurers have cherry-picked clients, their levies will increase. So will ACC’s levies, after it is left with the expensive claims that private insurers won’t touch.”

ENDS

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