New Government Needs To Explain Rationale For Safety And Competition Reversal
“Success in an open economy demands that the new Government takes a strong pro-competitive stance. New Zealand
businesses cannot compete successfully in the globalised economy if they are hampered and restricted by lack of
competition and excess cost at home.”
An Employers’ Federation statement? No. Dr Michael Cullen, Finance Minister, first speech, Wellington, 14 December 1999.
“We agree with Dr Cullen. He is right. It is therefore somewhat puzzling that one of the first things his new Government
seeks to do is the exact opposite of his sentiments expressed just yesterday.
“While Labour have made it reasonably clear they want to change the very positive ACC reforms of last July, they haven’t
yet made clear why.
“They now need to explain to New Zealanders their rationale for wanting to reverse the positive changes made.
“Last year’s reforms have changed the incentives that have operated for the last 25 years. They have meant better
workplace safety, more emphasis on the rehabilitation of those who do get injured, choice, and greater innovation.
“And with a more “pro-competitve stance” costs have also reduced.
If the new Labour-Alliance Government have found a new way of doing things that provides the same benefits to workers
and businesses, then great. But the rationale is not clear as to why this Government wants to reverse last year’s
positive reforms. They need to explain,” Mr Marshall concluded.