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ACC appointment confirms commitment to privatisation

Media release on behalf of ACC Futures Coalition - 22 August 2011

ACC appointment confirms commitment to privatisation

The ACC Futures Coalition today expressed concern about the signals arising from the appointment of Ralph Stewart, the former head of AXA, as the new chief executive of ACC.

“This appointment makes it clear that the current board and the government see ACC as an insurance scheme, pure and simple,” said Glenn Barclay, convenor of the ACC Futures Coalition. “When this announcement is put alongside the proposals to privatise the work account there is a consistency that is not surprising. The appointment of a prominent insurer indicates that the board thinks that privatisation is a done deal, even though consultation on the proposal was closed off only a few weeks ago and officials are considering responses.”

“ACC was never intended to be an insurance company,” said Mr. Barclay. “The founders of the scheme always saw it as a vital form of social assistance that would be there to support us all when we needed it, regardless of the risk of the activities in which we engaged. The last 2-3 years have seen the government seeking to undermine the scheme in readiness for privatisation”.

“The press announcement also made it clear that the appointment was brought forward because of the election,” said Mr. Barclay. ”I would have thought that it would have been more appropriate to wait until the election was over, particularly in light of the lack of a political consensus over the contentious policy of privatisation”.


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