ACC: what we really need to ask

There’s nothing quite like a ministerial resignation to send political insiders and journalists into a frenzy. There are big issues arising from Nick Smith’s interference in Bronwyn Pullar’s ACC claim. Such as: Are the four letters that Nick Smith wrote concerning Ms Pullar’s claim the extent of his interference in her claim, or is there […]

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Kevin Hague talks to Pasifika on ACC privatisation

Last week, Green ACC spokesperson Kevin Hague and Pasifika lawyer Amelia Saafi were interviewed on Pacific Viewpoint, a programme broadcast on Triangle/Stratos. The interview is 27 minutes long, but it’s well worth a watch to see Kevin and Amelia expose the Government’s economy with the truth in manufacturing a “crisis” in ACC in order to […]

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Back to the future with ACC experience rating

There are quite a number of nasty legislative and regulatory provisions coming into force today.  Among them are Nick Smith’s Experience Rating Regulations for ACC. Experience rating will result in an individual employer’s ACC levies being adjusted up or down on the basis of their work injury record.  The idea is supposedly that individual employers […]

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ACC disentitlement saga a shameful exercise from start to finish

Four years ago the District Court decided that ACC claimants who were not earners at the time of their original injury, but who later became incapacitated from subsequent employment due to that injury, were not entitled to weekly compensation. Irrespective of the legal technicalities, it was an anomalous decision for a compensation scheme that is […]

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More questions than answers over ACC cost shifting

A couple of months ago, following ACC Minister Nick Smith’s u-turn on counselling for ACC sexual abuse claimants, I called for an independent review of the wide-ranging cutbacks to ACC imposed by the Government. I have now asked some questions about people being moved from ACC to welfare benefits. What really disturbed me about the replies is the huge increase in the number of people being shifted from weekly compensation onto welfare benefits since March 2009.

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ACC “crisis” was all in Nick Smith’s head

Remember the financial crisis with ACC? Remember Nick Smith describing ACC as “technically insolvent”, a claim that was rubbished at the time by NZ Herald economics editor Brian Fallow and actuary Jonathan Eriksen? Guess what? ACC is set to make a $2 billion surplus, and that’s before the levy increases and entitlement cuts have any impact, as they are only now beginning to phase in!

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An ACC model for welfare? No thanks

Over the weekend, Social Development Minister raised the prospect of an ACC model for sickness and invalid’s benefits. My bet is that Bennett is talking about moving sickness and invalid’s benefits to the insurance model that ACC is increasingly becoming based on, rather than to a model based on the Woodhouse principle of complete rehabilitation that it was founded on.

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ACC: Mirrors smashed and smoke dispersed

Crisis! What crisis? ACC’s reserves are now above forecast by $739 million (5.4 percent), a further improvement over last month, said CTU Economist and Policy Director Bill Rosenberg. The main problem is the full funding of future claim payments which means ACC accounts will always be susceptible to large apparent variations which in reality may have little practical consequences for the ACC scheme.

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Submit now or lawyer up later

The Government estimates its cut to ACC cover for hearing loss will save up to $4 million a year. But it is not just that cost that will be borne by employers – there will be the associated costs of investigating and litigating damages claims by employees for low level hearing loss. Employers have a choice – submit in opposition to this now, or lawyer up later.

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Who’s next? Bikers say no to ACC levy increases and privatisation

Thousands of bikers descended on Parliament today to protest levy the Government’s hike in motorcyclist levies, and their attack on ACC.   New Green MP and lifetime biker David Clendon and new Green Party ACC Spokesperson Kevin Hague headed down to support the protest. David gave a great speech where he explained that the Greens […]

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Fancy that. Kiwis hate National’s ETS

It was no surprise to me to find this morning a new ShapeNZ poll shows Kiwis overwhelmingly reject National’s proposed changes to the ETS.

Eighty-two percent of National voters believe emitters should pay for any emissions in excess of New Zealand’s agreed limit under the Kyoto treaty, not taxpayers. Among Maori Party voters this rises to ninety-one percent.

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Gutting ACC – There is hope!

There is hope! Just today, ACC Minister Nick Smith partially backed down on ACC’s proposals for sexual abuse victims to have to be diagnosed by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist as being mentally ill before they can get cover. That has to be great news for everyone else affected by Dr Zachary Nick Smith’s planned […]

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