17 Oct 2009

ACT still talking to National on ACC changes

10:33 pm on 17 October 2009

ACT leader Rodney Hide says his party is still talking to National over legislation on ACC changes, as the Government struggles to get the support it needs to get the changes through parliament.

Introduction of a bill incorporating the changes, due to have been debated under urgency on Thursday, has been delayed.

The legislation makes cuts to several entitlements and defers the date by which historical claims have to be fully funded to 2019.

Mr Hide told Morning Report policies on ACC are a big challenge for New Zealand and changes contained in the bill require further discussion.

"The ACT party has always been in favour of choice and competition and opening ACC up and so on that basis we're having a discussion with the National Party," he said.

"We've had a couple of meetings this week and I've got meetings again next week."

Although Prime Minister John Key had announced the legislation would be introduced this week, National ministers say that wasn't a definite plan.

Dr Smith told Parliament that he was still seeking the support of other government parties.

Labour ACC spokesperson David Parker said it was obvious the government intended to try to pass the bill in its first stage under urgency, but didn't get the numbers.

The Maori Party has yet to consider the legislation.