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Go Slower on ACC Reform - Manufacturers

Employers plea to Government: take more time over ACC change

The Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern) is making a plea to Government to take more time to study the implications of the change proposed for ACC.

“We are extremely concerned that Government is rushing through the major changes to ACC without attending to all the issues raised by them,” said EMA’s chief executive Alasdair Thompson.

“This is not the right way of going about this. The bill is piecemeal and will not have the outcome intended of it.

“Our members are inundating us with calls and copies of their submissions all asking that the present system be retained.

“We fully appreciate the return to the old ACC scheme is driven by the desire to protect worker entitlements to good accident insurance cover, but ask where is the evidence that the present system is failing them?

“If Government has information that the present system is disadvantaging worker interests, employers are anxious to see it; if not, we urge Government to allow time for further study to see where workers may be at a disadvantage.

“If no such evidence surfaces, or if Government is unwilling to allow further scrutiny, we can only assume the changes proposed are driven by left wing ideology which will prove as flawed in the real world as the right wing ideology the new Government is ostensibly trying to displace.”

The EMA comments were in response to the NZIER report commissioned by the Insurance Council indicating a return to the old ACC scheme would jeopardise government’s other economic and social policy objectives by increasing the funding requirements from the private sector and Government.

“The framework of our trade oriented economy is for our producers to optimise their responsiveness to customers, with competition in the market proving the best way to guarantee quality and choice are available at the best price.

Finance Minister Dr Cullen endorsed and applauded this approach in a speech on December 14th, last year in Wellington. He said our “businesses cannot compete successfully in the globalised economy if they are hampered and restricted by lack of competition and excess cost at home.”

“We do not understand how workplace accident insurance is an exception to this overall position.

“We are urging Government to take more time to consider the growing evidence that the customers of accident insurance – employers and workers – are better off when insurance companies are competing for their business.”

Further comments: Alasdair Thompson tel Business 09 367 0911
Home 09 303 3951
Mobile 025 982 024

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