INDEPENDENT NEWS

ACC And Labour's Highway Robbery

Published: Wed 27 Oct 2004 08:18 AM
ACC And Labour's Highway Robbery
ACT New Zealand ACC Spokesman Heather Roy today urged ACC and Labour to quit its highway robbery and leave motorists alone, in light of ACC's calls to increase the costs of annual vehicle licensing.
"Kiwi motorists have been a repeated target under this Government: last year ACC's petrol levy rose from 2.1 cents to 5.08 cents a litre and, now, it wants to increase the cost of annual vehicle licensing by $10," Mrs Roy said.
"This move, which would be funded by motorists and the self-employed, would add around $36 million to ACC's bulging motor vehicle account - one of seven ACC accounts that gathers funding, and which reported a $221 million cash surplus for 2003-04, up from an $80 million cash surplus the previous year.
"The ACC Board has also recommended that the self-employed be hit with a 3.9 percent increase to their ACC levy - despite the fact that many self-employed people find it virtually impossible to have a claim approved when they are injured.
"This spells bad news for motorists and the self-employed - especially self-employed motorists - who could be forgiven for asking where the money is going, and why they're again being asked for more.
"And they'll receive cold comfort from the announcement that the planned five cents a litre tax grab - planned for next April - may be deferred, is cold comfort. Labour's changes mean the increase can be adopted in secret by order in council - likely right after the election.
"The fact is that ACC already has more money than it needs. Last year's $221 million cash surplus in the motor vehicle account equates to taking $150 more than needed from every average household.
"In the face of such operating surpluses further increases are obscene, and a discount would be much, much more appropriate," Mrs Roy said.

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