8 Aug 2008

Questions raised over benefits card for ACC staff

3:04 pm on 8 August 2008

Questions have been raised about a card for Accident Compensation Corporation staff that gives them $250 towards beauty care, animal grooming services and funeral homes.

The National Party wants to know how the Activa card represents good value for money, given that it is funded by taxpayers.

Spokesperson Pansy Wong told Parliament on Thursday that the card buys staff $250 of services from a range of beauty salons, pet care centres and funeral homes.

Ms Wong questioned how botox treatments and pet grooming contribute to health and wellbeing.

She says 80% of ACC staff have taken up the card, which represents $750,000.

ACC Minister Maryan Street says it appears ACC is simply practising what it preaches as a good employer and preventing injury.

ACC says most staff use the card for the likes of gym membership or running shoes, and the payback in terms of morale and less sick leave outweighs the cost. It says it will not review use of the card.