22 Dec 2010

ACC plans not re-run of 1990s - minister

8:00 pm on 22 December 2010

ACC Minister Nick Smith says proposals to privatise the bulk of the corporation's business will not be a re-run of the late 1990s.

The National Government at the time opened ACC to competition - but the policy was overturned by the incoming Labour Government in 1999.

The current government is now rolling out further reforms, including opening the door for private insurers in the work account.

Dr Smith told Morning Report that National has learned from the 1990s experience and is taking a more moderate approach.

Business NZ supports Govt plans for ACC

Business New Zealand says the Government is right to allow private insurers to compete for work with the Accident Compensation Corporation.

The Government says opening workplace coverage to competition after next year's election will reduce levy costs.

Business New Zealand says it is about employers getting value and for money and being able to shop around.

Chief executive Phil O'Reilly says private-sector competition will improve the creativity and innovation of the scheme for employers.

But the Engineering, Printing Manufacturing Union says private companies are only interested in profit and will do all they can to avoid paying out claims.

Health and safety lawyer Hazel Armstrong says it will increase litigation, delay compensation and burden claimants with extra investigation costs.