Someone dropped a pen from ACC near my lilypad yesterday. Could it have been Dr Felicity Goodyear-Smith, who advised ACC to require a diagnosis of mental illness before sex abuse survivors could get counselling paid for by ACC and who thinks sexual abuse counselling is ‘a scam’?
ACC’s use of Dr. Felicity Goodyear-Smith to advise on sexual abuse claims can only have resulted from catastrophic systems failure or a sick culture. New Zealanders need to know which, and Minister Smith must take steps to thoroughly investigate so the problems can be fixed
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!
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.
Cameron (Whaleoil) Slater has been having a bleat about how he has been treated by the private insurer Fidelity Life, which has cut off his income protection insurance. Funny how those on the political right don’t seem to get it – until it affects them personally, that is.
Presumably under pressure from ACT, the Government seems to be unable to resist finding places for wingnuts on the various advisory groups it is setting up. Yesterday it continued this trend by appointing Business Roundtable communications consultant and former ACT Party President Catherine Isaac (formerly Judd) to its Welfare Working Group.
There is a Save ACC rally at Parliament on 16 February to fight back against National’s cutbacks. The good people at the CTU have got these ads running at the Sevens:
Four years ago, Bay of Plenty meatworker Johnny Taewa tragically died of the occupational disease leptospirosis. His widow Cathy has been told she was not only ineligible for a benefit, but won’t be eligible for five years, because the lump sum payment she received from ACC in respect of his death is treated as income.
If ACC is made to work like an insurance company, then it’s a lot easier to flog bits of it off to insurance companies some time in the future. Levy hikes and entitlement cuts will undermine public confidence in ACC and soften up public opinion for the privatisation agenda.