The advertisement below appeared in the daily newspapers last week – pure spin designed to counter outrage among motorcyclists against the huge proposed increase in ACC motorcycle levies.
It is based on the false premise that the risk of injuries among any particular group of people should be borne by that group of people. That sort of logic would also have cyclists paying a levy, sports clubs paying a levy, and even pedestrians having to keep a log book to record every time they cross the road. But no mention of those in the Government’s proposals – it would all be too difficult, I guess, so just target the bikers.
As the author of the ACC scheme Sir Owen Woodhouse reminded us last month, that isn’t how ACC is meant to run. ACC is meant to be a no-fault scheme founded on the principle of community responsibility.
The community responsibility principle recognises that the various activities we undertake in society are all inter-related, and that benefit and harm flow on to others, rather than rest solely with the people undertaking those activities.
The community responsibility principle recognises that even though a disproportionately high number of motor vehicle injuries involve motorcyclists, a significant proportion of those injuries are actually caused by someone other than the motorcyclist.
The community responsibility principle also recognises that increased use of motorcycles where practicable has environmental benefits if single occupant car usage is consequently reduced, since the greenhouse gas emissions generated by a motorcycles are significantly less than from cars and the fossil fuel used per kilometre of travel is significantly less for a motorcycle than a car.
From that perspective, the Green Party would want to encourage motorcycle use as opposed to car use – however, the Government’s proposed levy increase for motorcycles does the opposite.
As for the advertisement itself, there are two sentences at the end about the consultation process on ACC’s levy setting. The rest of it continues a disturbing trend under the National-led Government of using public service funding – in this case your and my ACC levies – to promote Government political spin.