Nick Smith’s proposal to go back to the 1999 policy of booting people off ACC weekly compensation if they can manage 30 hours a week in a minimum wage job is listed in the Explanatory Note to the ACC gutting Bill under the heading “Cost Containment Measures”.
So Kevin Hague decided to ask Smith some Parliamentary questions to ascertain the extent of the cost containment proposed and its impact on ACC claimants. He asked, for each of the past eleven years, how many vocational independence or capacity for work assessments were undertaken by ACC, and how many claimants lost their weekly compensation as a result.
ACC does not capture specific data regarding the number of capacity for work or vocational independence assessments initiated. Data reflecting the outcome of these assessments is also not readily available. To provide the Member this information would involve substantial manual research of individual claim information.
That’s right. They don’t know some of the most basic statistical information necessary to determine the likely extent of cost containment or the impact on claimants of going back to the 1999 policy. What’s more, they are not even prepared to do the analysis to find out.
No wonder Treasury commented on the Regulatory Impact Statement for the Bill:
The RIS does not contain the required information and the analysis is incomplete in a number of key areas. For example, some of the proposals to remove ACC entitlements will shift costs onto other government agencies or onto individuals but the RIS does not quantify these costs.
But Smith blunders on with his ill-conceived Bill. What a shambles!