So National has now openly revealed its plans to privatise ACC – clearly, the Government has been softening the public up for this for a while.
First we saw the deliberate distortion of ACC finances, then we saw National’s handpicked chair talking up ridiculous levy increases and most recently ACC papers were leaked that talked about high excess charges and big cuts to compensation.
Classic National strategy – manufacture a crisis, get someone to say something that is even worse than its proposals and then bring out the cutbacks and pretend they are reasonable.
That said, I think National are going to find it difficult selling the gutting and privatising ACC as reasonable – I hope so anyway!
So what’s wrong with privatising ACC – basically it will drive up costs and cut coverage.
How do we know this? Because NZ compares favourably with overseas models. [PDF]
There is also the academic research showing privatisation will make ACC worse.
As I have previously blogged, even some employers have gone public with their concerns that privatisation will drive up costs and didn’t work when they tried it in the 90s.
ACC is the tip of the iceberg for National’s privatisation agenda – keep your eye out for any more manufactured “crises” that need vicious cutbacks and privatisation to be fixed.