Accident compensation for loss of potential earnings will rise under a Labour Government, while people not earning at the time of their accident will also be eligible for compensation, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says.
Releasing Labour’s ACC policy today he said Labour believes everyone should get a fair deal from ACC.
“That means those who are entitled to cover will get it. At the moment some groups are disproportionally disadvantaged.
“Currently claimants injured before they have the opportunity to begin earning are eligible for support equal to 80 per cent of the higher of the minimum weekly wage or 125 per cent of the invalid’s benefit.
“We will increase compensation for loss of potential earnings to 80 per cent of the median wage. We don’t think it’s right to assume that a person who is injured at an early age would have earned only the minimum wage had the injury not occurred.
“An unfair anomaly that means people who were not earning at the time they had an accident but are working when they become incapacitated do not receive weekly compensation, will also be scrapped under a Labour government.
“We will also investigate the introduction of a flat levy on all employers to fund occupational disease claims.
“While National has justified massive levy increases with its claims that ACC was in crisis, ACC recorded a surplus in 2012/13 of $4.9 billion, far in excess of what it needs. Despite advice from MBIE and ACC to cut levies, the Government has kept them unnecessarily high to achieve surplus.
“Labour will review levies to ensure they are not higher than needed to meet real costs of entitlements, and cut them if affordable.
“ACC has a proven track record. A Labour Government will ensure it is maintained as a publicly-owned social insurance scheme for all New Zealanders, with an increased focus on rehabilitation and long-term injury prevention,” Iain Lees-Galloway said.