14 Oct 2009

ACC levies set to rise

9:34 pm on 14 October 2009

The Government has announced proposed changes to ACC levies, including signficant increases in annual registration fees for car owners.

ACC Minister Nick Smith says the overall package of reforms announced on Wednesday will take $2 billion off the Accident Compensation Corporation's claims liabilities.

Dr Smith says employers' ACC levies and car registration may increase by about 12%, while workers' levies are tipped to rise by about 44%.

The move is in line with the Government's directive for ACC to cut costs after the corporation last week reported an increase in the scheme's claim liability of $4.8 billion.

On Friday, ACC issued figures showing its future cost of existing claims have grown to $23.8 billion. It has net assets of $11 billion, leaving a shortfall of $12.8 billion.

Dr Smith says the changes are needed to make the ACC scheme affordable and fair and without the proposed legislative changes the average levies would go up by more than 50%.

Car owners face substantial rises. At present, it costs $168 a year to register a petrol-driven car, but ACC proposes that this increases by $69 to $237.

Owners of motorbikes of more than 600cc could see their fee rise from $252 to $735, while moped owners face a rise from the current $58 to $246.

Meanwhile, workers may be billed an extra 16 cents per $100 of earnings for work injuries taking the rate to $1.47, up from $1.31.

It is suggested that non-work injury rates rise 67c for every $100 earned, taking the rate from $1.51 to $2.17.

The figures do not include goods and services tax (GST).

The levy changes have been put out for consultation and the Accident Compensation Corporation will make a recommendation to the Government at the end of this year.

Dr Smith also confirmed that the date for full funding of the corporation's liabilities is to be delayed from 2014 to 2019. Prime Minister John Key says this will reduce pressure on levy increases next year.