19 Sep 2013

Farm accident drop behind ACC levy fall

7:06 am on 19 September 2013

A drop in the number of farm accidents is believed to be behind a possible reduction in ACC levies for farmers.

The Accident Compensation Corporation has released its draft levies for the year from April 2014 to March 2015 but still needs government approval.

Motor vehicle and employer and employee levies would drop but motorcycle, moped and petrol levies would stay the same.

Federated Farmers ACC spokesperson Katie Milne said the proposed levies were potentially good news for farmers and should save them hundreds of dollars each year, especially if they had staff.

"We are talking about a reduction of perhaps up to about 20%, which would be very welcome, because we pay thousands and thousands of dollars per annum in levies," she said.

"So that will be thousands of dollars that will stay in farmers' pockets from these cuts, which will be able to be put to good use somewhere along the line elsewhere in the business."

Federated Farmers believed politicians should not be involved in deciding on the levies.

"One of those things that can become a bit of a political football, perhaps, and in times when maybe there's an election coming up ... you can hold something over and dish it out at a more suitable time (for the party)," Ms Milne said.

"Politics, we feel, shouldn't have a place in these sorts of decisions because it should reflect what's happening out in the field and not what's happening in the Beehive."

Federated Farmers would closely watch that ACC did not shift the entitlement goal-posts when farmers needed to claim, she said.