Nick Smith fails to tick the boxes in his haste to introduce ACC bill
In its haste to introduce the ACC Bill, the National Government has shown extreme disregard for proper consultation and has failed to adequately cost the reforms, said CTU President Helen Kelly today.
“Considering he belongs to a government obsessed with cost containment issues Nick Smith has failed to investigate the figures. The proposed changes to ACC have not been sufficiently costed,” said Kelly.
The Treasury’s adequacy statement in the Bill says it does not contain required cost information and the Government’s analysis is incomplete. The cuts to ACC entitlements will shift costs to other government departments or onto workers and there is no quantification of these costs.
Treasury stated: “The proposal to introduce experience rating and risk sharing in the ACC Work Account will increase administrative and compliance costs for business and for the ACC scheme, yet these costs have not been investigated.”
Kelly continued: “Nick Smith’s inability to cost his reforms, and Treasury’s identification of the incomplete financial analysis in his Bill, means many New Zealanders should doubt the other statements the Minister has made about ACC’s financial matters.”
“Smith has manufactured ACC’s financial crisis while aggressively pursuing the full funding of the scheme in order to ready it for privatisation. The speed at which this Bill and other ACC reforms have progressed has meant the Minister has neglected the cost implications and various procedures that should have occurred around his reforms.”
“Nick Smith has failed to consult with external stakeholders and his Bill proposes to dispense with consultation requirements outlined in the Act regarding levy changes.”
“The CTU opposes the provisions in the Bill to allow experience rating as it creates extra administrative costs and more contested claims and disputes. Employers are tempted to hide accidents to reduce levies. Overly aggressive practices take place to encourage workers to return to work before they have fully recovered.”