INDEPENDENT NEWS

Give Workplace Accident Victims The Right To Sue

Published: Wed 15 Mar 2000 02:44 PM
New Zealand First has called for employees to again have the right to sue negligent employers for loss of earnings suffered through workplace accidents.
Industrial Relations Spokesperson, Peter, Brown, said today that New Zealand First believed in the no fault, 24 hour coverage system but said it must be coupled with fair and reasonable entitlements.
“Yesterday I introduced an amendment to the Accident Insurance Bill currently going through the House which, as a priority, would have improved entitlements to accident victims.
“The amendment would have abolished co-payments to medical practitioners that some accident victims now have to pay. It would have compelled employers, or their insurers, to pay all travel and ancillary expenses and it would have introduced a guaranteed income for casual workers as against the pittance they often receive now when they are subjected to a workplace accident.
“However, the Minister, Michael Cullen would have none of this and voted the amendment out of order on a technicality.
“I can only conclude that the Government is intent on introducing a monopoly accident compensation system for ideological reasons”
“The attitude of New Zealand First is to pass on some of the considerable savings being made under the private regime to accident victims as a first priority.
“New Zealand First is firmly on the side of the accident victims and we say that current entitlements are not good enough. Therefore they must be once again given the right to sue. This can be the only logical outcome of this unfair accident compensation scheme,” concluded Peter Brown.
ENDS

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