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Public has clear choice over future of ACC

4 November 2011

Public has clear choice over future of ACC

The public has a clear choice about the future of ACC this election says ACC Futures Coalition spokesperson Hazel Armstrong. “National is not ruling out opening up the work, earners and motor vehicle accounts to competition. Employers will be given the choice of staying with ACC”, spokesperson for the National Party, Michael Woodhouse said this morning.

“Whereas, Chris Hipkins , Labour Spokesperson, opposes privatization and stated clearly that if Labour is returned to Government it would enhance and protect ACC. Mr. Hipkins said that competition and privatization are the same thing. He pledged that Labour would reverse any privatization of any part of ACC.”

Ms. Armstrong was speaking after an election breakfast this morning on the future of ACC at which Labour, National, Green, ACT and Mana parties spoke.

“It was good to hear that the Greens, Labour and Mana parties remain committed to ACC as the publicly owned single provider of injury prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and compensation services“said Ms. Armstrong.

“Mr. Hipkins emphasized that privatization would result in profits going off shore and there is no guarantee that levies will be reduced with privatization. He said the case had not been made out by National for privatization.”

Mr. Woodhouse said that National has not yet released its policy on ACC.

National disagreed with Labour and the Greens on whether there had been a funding crisis within ACC. Mr. Hague for the Greens said the crisis was in Hon Nick Smith’s head, and it was used to justify cuts to cover and entitlement and to undermine confidence in ACC. He said that on the back of this National then promoted privatization.

Mr. Woodhouse said that the crisis was real and led to a significant increase in levies. Mr. Hipkins pointed out that ACC was far better off after Labour’s time in office. “The alleged deficit was the result of a global financial crisis which delivered an investment downturn and a change to ACC’s accounting policies. ACC is now back in surplus and this would have occurred in any event without a levy increase”.

Labour released its policy today.

The ACC Futures Coalition consists of community groups, academics, organisations representing people who need support from ACC, health treatment providers and unions who have come together around the following aim:

To build cross-party support for retaining the status of ACC as a publicly-owned single provider committed to the ‘Woodhouse Principles’, with a view to maintaining and improving the provision of injury prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and ‘no fault’ compensation social insurance system for all New Zealanders.

ENDS

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