New privatisation proposals continue dismemberment of ACC

Press Release – ACC Futures Coalition

The announcement by the government yesterday that it will “Explore choice in ACC Motor Vehicles and Earners Accounts” has been condemned by the ACC Futures Coalition. New privatisation proposals continue dismemberment of ACC

The announcement by the government yesterday that it will “Explore choice in ACC Motor Vehicles and Earners Accounts” has been condemned by the ACC Futures Coalition.

“The National Party’s ideological commitment to privatisation in ACC has no limits”, said ACC Futures Coalition spokesperson Hazel Armstrong. “The government has already put together a consultation document on privatising the work account, which independent analysis1 has demonstrated as unworkable, with no advantage to injured workers at all. Now they want to follow that up with the privatisation of the earners account.”

“This proposal is farcical. The earners levy is deducted from wages and passed to ACC. How will workers get to exercise effective choice in such a situation? Or will employers be given that right, just as they are likely to get the right to choose the insurer for accidents at work.”

“All of the proposals being floated will drive up costs,” said Ms Armstrong. “ACC has been recognised internationally as administratively efficient compared with comparable schemes overseas. The duplication of providers, the need to return a profit and the increasing level of transaction costs will just make things more expensive with no likelihood of improved service.”

“More importantly we will lose our current seamless approach to accident compensation,” said Ms. Armstrong. “We currently have very little disputation about where an injury occurred and who should cover it – ACC is there for everyone. However these policies, if introduced, will undermine all of that and will lead to disputes that will not only be costly but could lead to delays in either treatment or the payment to health professionals for treatment provided.”

“The Government is engaged in the dismemberment of ACC as an effective service provider, for no advantage to anyone accept private insurers. We all need to oppose these policies.”

ENDS 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.

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