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Government falls announcement falls short of reality

Chris Hipkins
ACC spokesperson

15 August 2011

Government falls announcement falls short of reality

A Government announcement today regarding concerns around falls prevention is blatant hypocrisy given the National Government cut funding for falls prevention programmes, Labour ACC spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

"Associate ACC Minister Hekia Parata today announced that home injuries cost New Zealanders $537 million last year, with the most common cause being slips, trips and falls.

“Yet under National the amount of money spent on falls prevention for the elderly has been slashed from $5 million to $1.2 million. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out we'll all end up paying more in the long run as a result," Chris Hipkins said.

“Falls clearly account for a large number of injuries, and therefore ACC claims, so it makes sense to invest in preventing them, but National seem more interested in cutting costs in order to ready ACC for privatisation.

"Under National, the most effective fall prevention programme, the Otago Exercise programme that ACC's own evaluation found had reduced falls by over 30 percent, has been cut completely.

"This isn't about spending more money, it's actually about spending a bit more upfront on preventing injuries so we can pay out less on accident claims in the long run.

"It's all very well for National to talk about safety in the home, but talk is cheap, particularly when they're actually cutting funding for the very thing they purport to be promoting," Chris Hipkins said.

ENDS

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