15 Oct 2009

ACC 'being readied for privatisation'

3:00 pm on 15 October 2009

A former ACC board member believes that the Government is readying the accident compensation scheme for privatisation with the changes announced on Wednesday.

The Government proposes to increase levies and pull back a range of ACC entitlements introduced by the previous government.

"What this is about," says former board member Hazel Armstrong, "is building up the accounts to enable privatisation. The Government had the choice whether or not to put the levies up, and they have chosen to do that."

Ms Armstrong says savings were already being made through partnerships between ACC and treatment providers.

Changes seen as not going far enough

On the other hand, Derek Lowe, of the northern division of the Employers and Manufacturers Association, believes the changes don't go far enough.

If ACC were not a monopoly, he says, people might be rehabilitated sooner. "There needs to be more than one provider involved in rehabilitating people," Mr Lowe says.