Nick Smith’s scaremongering exposed again

Published: Wed 14 Oct 2009 05:12 PM
Hon David Parker
ACC Spokesperson
14 October 2009Media Statement
Nick Smith’s scaremongering exposed again
While ACC levy increases will be hard on people’s pockets, they won’t be nearly as steep as those the Government tried to frighten the public with last week, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson David Parker.
“The figures released raise further questions about the scaremongering campaign the Government has embarked upon to soften up the public for drastic cuts to ACC entitlements.
“At the beginning of the year Labour encouraged the Government to push out the date for fully-funding ACC for five years to substantially relieve levy increases. Nick Smith has signalled all year that he will do this,” David Parker says.
“Despite knowing he planned to confirm this today, he has spent the last week scaremongering on the prospect of the much higher levy rates which would have been necessary if this step hadn’t been taken.
“He has released no details of the entitlement cuts he has also unveiled – which completely undermines the Prime Minister’s promise that the Government would hold an honest conversation with New Zealanders before cutting entitlements.
“Nick Smith’s determination to always paint the blackest picture of ACC was also highlighted in the House again today, says David Parker.
“He always tries to conflate the increase in liabilities from earlier years’ claims with whether ACC is currently paying its way on claims made during the last financial year with that year’s levy income.
“ACC’s annual report shows that levy income last year was more than enough to cover the whole of life costs of the new claims made that year.
“Yet when asked in Parliament today about the costs of last year’s claims, Nick Smith did not use the $4 billion cost (in 2009 dollars) shown in the annual report, which is more than covered by levy income, but used a far higher figure.
“He repeatedly does this to try and convince people that ACC is fundamentally broken when it is not. The reality is that it remains cheaper than Australian equivalents,” David Parker says.

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