20 Oct 2009

Govt holds talks with ACT on ACC

11:13 am on 20 October 2009

Prime Minister John Key and ACC Minister, Nick Smith met ACT Party leader Rodney Hide on Monday night to lock down support for ACC legislation.

The leglisation was due to be debated under urgency last week - but was put on hold when the Government realised it did not have the numbers.

A Radio New Zealand political reporter says the talks will have centred on the issue of workplace accident coverage, which ACT wants opened to private competition.

Earlier, Mr Key indicated that the opening the corporation's work account would form part of discussions with ACT.

He says National campaigned on the option and is not opposed to exploring the idea.

But both the Labour and the Green Party say any moves towards privatisation will not only increase costs, but reduce coverage for the average worker.

Green MP Sue Bradford says the basic principles of ACC are now under threat.

Labour bid

The Labour Party has offered its support to National over ACC legislation, in a bid to diminish ACT's influence.

Labour says it will support ACC's liability for full funding being delayed until 2019, which would relieve the pressure to increase levies.