INDEPENDENT NEWS

More cuts wanted to ACC levies + Poll findings

Published: Mon 14 Oct 2002 04:02 PM
ACC poll findings, plus more cuts wanted to ACC levies
A survey on changes proposed by ACC has found business wants the number of risk groups for experience rating kept at 130 rather than reduced to just 55.
Business also wants any increase in the motor vehicle levy funded through the vehicle registration fee, not through petrol taxes.
The poll of 140 businesses by the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) did not ask whether business supported ACC's proposal to cut the average annual employer levy from 90 to 87 cents/$100 of payroll.
"Business has steadfastly pointed out ACC significantly overcharges employers, and this would apply even if the average levy was reduced by three cents per $100 of payroll," Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.
"The levy should average 75 cents per $100 of payroll.
"ACC should also improve its management of claims costs which have beenrising faster than warranted.
"Our survey found a large majority of businesses want a wide range of risk categories to better reflect their own rates of work related injury.
"Most (71%) also want a return to experience rating, with methods to reward good workplace safety records such as 'no claim' refunds.
"Businesses in ACC's Partnership Programme said the benefits to ACC arising from their excellent risk management practices are not being passed back to them through lower premiums or administration costs. They say if this situation is not remedied there is little value in the Programme and this could affect its viability.
"ACC claims its road vehicle account is falling in arrears. It wants to raise the annual ACC levy on vehicle registrations from $140 to $177 while keeping the contribution from petrol tax at 2.3 cents/litre.
"56% in our survey want to retain the present method of collecting funds for this account, while a further 26% prefer to peg the ACC portion of vehicle registrations at the same level, with the balance raised through higher petrol tax of 5.1 cents a litre.
"Another question asked was whether ACC should meet the full costs of injuries from accidents; 58% of businesses said they did not support this. Additional comments from several people in the survey indicated support for ACC covering all workplace accidents.
"ACC is also a significant business compliance cost. In 2001, the Government's own Ministerial Panel on Business Compliance Costs made 162 recommendations, of which 20 pertained to accident insurance legislation.
ACC proposes to:
Cut the average employer levy from 90 to 87c per $100 payroll
Cut the average residual claims levy from 35 to 30c
Cut the average self-employed levy from $3.17 to $3.09
Keep the earner levy at $1.20
Cut the employer and self employed risk groups from 130 to 55
Raise the motor vehicle levy by 22% and possibly increase petrol taxes to pay for it.

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